USA Basketball's Rebirth: Next Stage
ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
And now, briefly, to basketball. Not college hoops or the NBA, but the World Basketball Championship in Japan. Where today Team USA trounced Team Senegal 103 to 58. There was a time when Team USA was the reliable international favorite - think back to the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, when Team USA featured Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird and Scottie Pippen, among others. It was known as the Dream Team.
But all that changed by 2002, when a lackluster Team USA finished sixth at the World Championships. In 2004, they settled for bronze at the Athens Olympics.
But the dream might be back for this team and they've got five straight wins to show for it. Last Saturday they beat Puerto Rico 111 to 100. On Sunday they beat China 121 to 90. On Tuesday, Slovenia, 114 to 95. And on Wednesday, Italy, 94 to 85. Then there was today's route against Senegal, a game that was won by 45 points.
Heading up Team USA this year is Mike Krzyzewski, the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils. Krzyzewski has told the Houston Chronicle “we are a team now. Before we were a group of guys who wanted to be a team.”
Well, the group of guys known as Team USA plays again on Sunday against Australia in the group of 16.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.