Team USA has a problem. Not on the court, of course; the 2016 Men’s National Team is going to cruise to a gold medal this summer in Rio. That’s kind of the issue, though. Without a major change of some sort, these Olympics are going to be pretty boring when it comes to basketball. Team USA is too good, and there’s no major competitor on the global scene.
Enter former NBA star Jalen Rose, who has an idea to fix this whole situation: Once you’ve represented your country on the Olympic stage, that’s it. You only get the one shot at a gold medal. After that, it’s someone else’s turn.
Via For The Win:
“I am! But you know what I’ve thought about as I watched Carmelo Anthony, the first four-time American Olympian [in men’s basketball]? I think you should only get to be in the Olympics once. 450 players in the NBA. It’s great to see the All-Star level, the superstar level players consistently perform, but as intriguing as it is for someone immersed in NBA basketball, who watch them all the time and know their stories. Imagine if we had some guys who are on teams that are not as well known in the league. Then we’d get to see them on this platform. I think if you get one gold medal, then you should pass. Definitely two.”
Rose’s idea would decrease Team USA’s chance of winning gold, if only slightly, and that’s kind of the point. By bringing some of the best NBA players to the Olympics, rather than the very best, the Games would be a little less predictable.
Take 2016, for example. The changes would be minimal, at least in a numbers sense. Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant would be ineligible for Team USA under Rose’s rules, but the other 10 players would be in the clear.
That might not seem like much, but Melo and KD are the two most important players on this Olympic roster. They’re the guys who can go get buckets if Team USA goes cold from the 3-point line. If neither player was on the roster, Team USA would have to rely on Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins as the alpha dogs on offense.
Then there’s the flipside of this argument. Would only Team USA be subject to these restrictions, or would they apply globally? If it’s the former, maybe the playing field becomes slightly more level. If it’s the latter, though, then Team USA would probably just continue to blow everyone out of the water.