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Olympic Basketball

The Olympics start today! As anyone who has read for more than 2 years knows, I'm an Olympics junkie. Oddly enough, I don't care for the basketball as much as the obscure sports you never see, like equestrian curling and the like. Badminton too. Who can get enough of people taking a backyard game way too far? (And why don't they have medals for lawn darts?) But this is a basketball site, so we'll talk basketball as we wait breathlessly for the opening ceremonies.

I have a few questions:

1. What are the chances that the Americans will win the gold medal this year?

2. If they do win it all, will it make you feel excited and patriotic? Does this medal mean as much, win or lose, as it did in the days before NBA guys played?

3. Do you like the All-Star format for Team USA or do you have another suggestion...fielding an existing NBA roster or some kind of hybrid?

4. Since there are no Trail Blazers on board this time around, will you be rooting for or watching any particular players?

5. For extra fun, build your ideal Alternate USA Olympics basketball team with the following restrictions:

  • You cannot use anybody currently on the team.
  • You cannot use anybody who's not on the team because of injury or because they turned down the opportunity.
  • Name a coach or coaches as well if you can.
  • Give us rationale for your decisions,

In other words, if Team USA suddenly couldn't play and you had to assemble another squad on the spot, who would you pick and why?

Have fun! We'll all be reading tonight from halfway through the B's all the way past Zimbabwe during the parade of nations! Also probably when the President of the IOC is going on ten minutes too long with his speech and when the orchestra plays whatever special--but irrelevant and immediately-forgettable--tune they've composed for this year's games. Come on, folks. Nobody is going to replace the bum-bum ba BUM-bum, bum-bum ba BUM-bum. Just play it and call it a day!

--Dave (

P.S. Extra Credit Question: What's the over/under on number of times NBC cuts to William and Kate in the royal box during their coverage of the Opening Ceremonies?