NBA players struggle in international game

Originally Published: August 6, 2004
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
Can the U.S. get anything right internationally these days?

Who would've thought, even a year ago, that Team USA would be rolling around on the floor, celebrating like they just won the gold medal in Athens, after avoiding another disastrous exhibition loss on an Allen Iverson buzzer beater?

Mission Accomplished? Hardly ...

For the second straight game, Team USA was outplayed by an opponent that has no shot at a gold medal. (Germany didn't even qualify for the Olympics.)

What gives? The theories are all fine. Team USA needs better shooters to break down the zone. They need a real point guard, not Stephon Marbury. They need more practice time. They're too young. They're too small. They're not focused. They're waiting for the games to count before they turn it on.

All true. But what if Team USA just isn't that good?

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer