Friday, August 27, 2004

The World is a Changing

The US Olympic basketball team will not win a gold medal this year.

Argentina, with almost the same roster that made history in 2002 by becoming the first team to defeat a U.S. squad of NBA players, will compete for the gold medal against the winner of Friday's late game between Lithuania and Italy.

The Argentines were the better passers, shooters and defenders. They confronted the Americans with a mixture of man-to-man and zone defenses, and confounded them with an assortment of back picks that turned the start of the second half into a layup drill.

This is a microcosm of what the United States does not understand about the world. Why are our jobs going overseas? Because the world is developing very fast, and there are skilled workers in other countries willing to do our jobs with more passion and for something other than financial reward.

The NBA squad refused to play like a team and refused to stay in the Olympic Village with the other athletes. Many NBA players who could have helped this squad refused to give up their time and effort to play for America. We have come to expect too much. We have come to expect to win without effort. We have come to believe that other countries are under developed and inferior to ours in almost every way.

The United States will have to quit whining and step up to the world plate. This isn't just about corporations trying to make more money. This is about competition, and we have been caught selfish and unfocused.

But I do believe in people, and I believe we can step up. We will just have to learn again how. We will have to be creative, innovative, and determined

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