After suffering their first loss since 2004 and the Olympics in Athens against France, Team USA has been heavily criticized for their displays in Tokyo. Kevin Durant and company bounced back in a confident win against Iran and Czech Republic, but still, they aren’t producing what everyone thought they would. One of the most decorated USA basketball players is Carmelo Anthony, who talked about the Olympics with the owner of Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban. Cuban is also a big Olympics fan, and he shared his thoughts on this USA Olympic team in Melo’s podcast What’s in Your Glass?
“The names that are on there, and if we don’t torch everybody, it’s going to be something wrong. There’s so much talent, and the guys are ready to go. But the problem is that you already had a compressed season which is already tough on you guys. Just playing that many games with all the testing, protocols, and everything. Particularly if you play in the Finals, and then go to the Olympics, that’s tough. Straight from your season to the Olympics and then right back into another season. As much as I love the Olympics and rooting for our guys, you know how it’s tough to come after an 82-game season,” Cuban said.Mark Cuban, via What’s in Your Glass
And that could be a part of the problem that US players have. They are underprepared because of the very short training camp before the start of the tournament, and many guys are already tired coming into the Olympics. However, the same goes for the international players, and that’s something that Melo talked about.
“That’s the thing with the Olympics, and it’s the timing. They were pushed from last year to this year, and we’ve played in the bubble, straight to this shortened season, and then you go to the Olympics and come out of it. But think of some of the European players, like Luka, who is on your team. They go to qualify first, so it’s even more taxing for those guys,” Melo explained.Carmelo Anthony, via What’s in Your Glass
If anybody knows how the Olympics work, it’s Melo. And as he says, some European players, whose teams need to qualify, have a more difficult path than the USA Team. So we will see how they will adapt in the upcoming stage of the tournament. Anything except winning the gold would be another massive disappointment for Popovich’s team.