Without the full context, questions, etc. this statement looks much worse than it actually was.http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/08/21/jerry-colangelo-usa-basketball/89085294/
RIO DE JANEIRO — Not long after Team USA won Olympic gold for the third consecutive time, downing Serbia 96-66 on Sunday at Carioca Arena I to finish 8-0 in these Games, the program’s managing director threw down the gauntlet on the rest of the basketball world.
When asked by an international reporter about the margin of victory in the finale, Jerry Colangelo — the former NBA executive and owner who rehabilitated the national program in 2005 — made it quite clear that he wasn’t about to apologize for the one-sided outcome.
“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.’ ”
There’s a Kevin Durant-sized rub here, of course, as the 2016 edition of Team USA cut their gold-medal mission much closer than their predecessors. They were pushed from beginning to end by Australia (98-88), then survived three-point games against Serbia and France (94-91 and 100-97, respectively) before finding their way again against Argentina (105-78) in the quarterfinals.
Before facing Serbia, Team USA won yet another close game in the semifinal against Spain (82-76). By comparison, the 2008 and 2012 Team USA Olympic squads had only cut it that close twice in 16 combined games — both in London (a 99-94 win against Lithuania and a 107-100 win against Spain for the gold medal).
When asked by USA TODAY Sports if the close games were a product of other teams catching up or the Americans simply not playing to their potential, Colangelo said, “A combination of all of it. But what I’m just saying is you look around, you look at the programs that may be big-time programs going forward. People are talking about Canada, people are talking about Australia, they’re talking about Argentina losing their (older) players. Some of the programs are going up, some are going down, but the healthiest thing for the game of basketball is to have competition around the world that makes it even more intriguing. But we’re just going to continue to do everything that we do to stay on top.”