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I asked Halliburton directly, “Aren’t the U.S. the dream team anymore?”

The U.S. national team is no longer a dream team.

The U.S. men’s basketball team beat Montenegro 85-73 in Group J preliminary round of the “FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023” held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, the Philippines, on the 1st. The U.S., which has been undefeated for four consecutive games in the tournament, is cruising toward recapturing the trophy for the first time in eight years.

The current U.S. national team has no superstars, to be sure. NBA players such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant declined to participate in the World Cup. Only Anthony Edwards and Tyriss Halliburton are stars. He was also included as the 2023 Rookie of the Year Paolo Bancke.

The rest of the players are talented players who play as main players in the NBA. In terms of name value alone, it is no exaggeration to say that it is the worst composition since 1992. In the U.S., there was also a sarcastic comment saying, “At best, it is the semifinals.” Why did the U.S., which finished seventh in the last tournament, make up such a player.

In the men’s basketball semifinals at the 1998 Seoul Olympics held at Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium, the U.S., a group of college students, lost 76-82 to the former Soviet Union. It was the first time that the U.S. failed to win an Olympic gold medal with its skills. The U.S., which has cracked the pride of the basketball host country, negotiated with the IOC by NBA President David Stern and allowed professional players to participate in the Olympics. So it was the dream team that participated in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

The dream team of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Carl Malone, John Stockton, David Robinson, Chris Mullin, Patrick Ewing, Scotty Pippen, Clyde Drexler and Christian Leitner defeated their opponents by 43.8 points to win the gold medal in all eight games. Coach Chuck Daley has not called a single operational time in eight games. It is famous that the opposing team players requested autographs and photos after the game.

The U.S. national team dominated the world for a while, called Dream Team 2 and Dream Team 3. However, the United States lost its pride by winning only bronze medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2006 Saitama World Championships. In 2008, a “redim team” was formed with Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant, and regained their pride with a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Kobe culminated in his career with a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

The gap between world basketball and the United States has gradually narrowed significantly. Currently, three of the top five players competing for MVP in the NBA, including Janis Atetokounmpo (Greece), Luka Doncic (Slovenia), and Nikola Jokic (Serbia), are European players. Now it is difficult to find a team without NBA players in most national teams. Japan also has two members, Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe. NBA players are no longer objects of awe and envy. There was a perception that the U.S. national team was also an opponent that could never win.

The same goes for the U.S. national team. It is different from the past when NBA superstars were formed in all positions. It is true that the U.S. has the strongest power and has an even player in its position, but the best star is Luca Doncic. The U.S. is winning all games, but you can’t see it overwhelming the opponent. The U.S. won four consecutive games at the 2023 Basketball World Cup, but the gap narrowed to 28.8 points. The match against Montenegro was a 12-point victory after a long struggle.

Halliburton, who came in as a substitute, scored 10 points, 6 assists and 2 steals while running 23 minutes and 30 seconds. It is the dignity of the United States that such a player comes out of the bench. Halliburton, who was selected as an award-winning player, attended an official press conference with coach Steve Kerr.

After winning the right to ask questions, people told Halliburton, “The U.S. national team without superstars such as LeBron James and Stephen Curry is no longer a dream team. Still, wouldn’t it be an opportunity for the players to be more motivated?”

It was a question that could hurt his pride, but Halliburton answered as kindly and sincerely as possible. “I don’t know if people will say we’re not a dream team, but I don’t care. I think that can be said just in terms of the composition of the players, but such value judgment is not my concern. “As a basketball player, I’m only thinking about how to make this team stronger.” 스포츠토토

Dual guards have become the trend in the NBA, but Halliburton has the ability to save his teammates rarely. “When you look at our team’s talent, my role here is to keep playing making my teammates score,” he said. Of course, in the NBA season, they try to balance scoring and playing making, but they make an exception here. Trying to play the game smarter. If that happens, our entire team will do really well,” he said, putting the team first.

Halliburton has signed a five-year, $260 million contract with the Indiana Pacers to extend the maximum. But on the court, he was more sincere than anyone else. The U.S. national team, where such a player plays as a substitute, is still the strongest, even if it is no longer a “dream team.”

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