Team USA has looked anything but invincible so far at the Tokyo Olympics, and one of their former stars can’t help but notice how different the international basketball landscape looks nowadays.
Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing, who starred on the legendary 1992 “Dream Team,” said this week that he thinks the rest of the world has caught up to the United States.
“I’m rooting for Coach [Gregg] Popovich and the US Team,” Ewing told Marc Berman of the New York Post. “It’s an unfortunate time we’re living in, losing players to COVID-19 protocols. It’s harder to play now because of the Dream Team. All the current players grew up looking up to us and watching us dominate the rest of the world. But the rest of the world caught up."
“There are so many talented players,” added Ewing. “Some of the NBA’s top players today come from all over the world. It wasn’t like that back then.”
Ewing’s comments actually came before Team USA lost on Sunday in their group stage opener to France. They had already lost two exhibition contests to Nigeria and Australia prior to that. That is obviously a far cry from 1992 when the “Dream Team” went undefeated through 14 total games with no opponent even coming within 30 points of them.
Of course, Team USA has already looked vulnerable in subsequent years, most notably in 2004 when they had to settle for the bronze medal at the Athens Olympics. But Ewing is not the only “Dream Team” member who thinks that their team was far superior to any USA Basketball team since.