The United States won the gold medal in Rio de Janiero pretty convincingly, despite some glaring problems in the earlier rounds. The gold-medal game against Serbia was a blowout, and afterwards, USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo said the onus is on other countries to be more competitive.
“I’m all for raising the bar for global basketball,” he began. “The more interest in basketball on all levels, I’m for. I’m a lifer in the game. I love the game. Basketball is the No. 2 sport in the world, (but) we just need to see these other countries get their acts together and become more competitive.
“I’d love to see that. Everyone would love to see that. I’m not going to be making excuses for anyone about our (dominance). Someone said to me (after the game), one of the officials said to me, ‘You know next time you play, you ought to play with four.’ And I said, ‘No, maybe the other teams better get their act together and compete.’ ”
Colangelo is right that the United States basketball program is miles ahead of the rest of the world, but it wasn’t a great look to say this right after winning the gold medal. It’s unfair to expect other countries to simply field better national teams — it’s a decades-long process of growing the sport of basketball at the youth levels, something that’s been improving over the years but is still not where it needs to be.