Patrick Ewing believes that the cultural revolution brought about in basketball by the Dream Team led to other nations catching up with USA.
Team USA suffered a shock defeat against France at the Tokyo Olympics yesterday. The team held a 7-point lead with a little under a third of the 4th quarter left. But Nicolas Batum led them back into the game, Evan Fournier tied it up and France then stifled USA.
France went on a 14-0 run from a 74-67 deficit to decisively swing the game in their favor. Entrenched in this clutch sequence of play was a damning series of possessions for Team USA.
They generated wide open looks for Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Zach Lavine, who’re all considered great shooters in the NBA. But none of them could make the type of shot they’d normally make with no fuss.
Consequentially, Team USA squandered its best offensive rebounding possessions and had to make intentional fouls. They were down 76-74 when they bricked these 3-pointers, and there was no coming back from this point.
“Dream Team made it tougher for current USA Team”: Patrick Ewing
The warning signs were already present for Team USA before tipoff ever happened at Tokyo. They lost 2 straight warmup games – one each to Nigeria and Australia. Patrick Ewing took note of how the rest of the basketball world has now caught up in an NY Post interview:
“It’s an unfortunate time we’re living in right now, losing players to COVID-19 protocols. It’s harder to play now because of the Dream Team. All of the current players grew up looking up to us and watching us dominate the rest of the world. But the rest of the world caught up.”
“There are so many talented players. Some of the NBA’s top players today come from all over the world. It wasn’t like that back then.’’
It is true indeed – the Dream Team is quite literally the diamond standard for basketball teams to this date. It spurred a cultural revolution that impacts the game all across the globe and makes kids wanna be like Mike.