They might not play like the best team at times, but one glance at the scoreboard on Thursday night was pretty definitive evidence that yes, the legacy of the Dream Team lives on 20 years later.
The U.S. men are better than anyone else at this sport, and so much so that it's embarrassing for anyone foolish enough to stumble into their path of destruction.
The final score was USA 156, Nigeria 73. If possible, it wasn't even that close. Carmelo Anthony hit a record 10 3-pointers on absurd 10-12 shooting from behind the arc, Russell Westbrook added 27 points of his own and the lone highlight for Nigeria was a sick crossover move that might leave James Harden sore in the morning.
When the dust had settled, the U.S. team's ridiculous 63 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line felt more like rubbing it in than anything else. Then again, the alternative of running layup lines all afternoon would have been likely more embarrassing for the Nigerians.
Kobe Bryant and Co. didn't need a statement game to prove their superiority over everyone else — their closest rival, Spain, barely escaped against lowly Great Britain. Yet that's exactly what they gave, serving notice to the world that in twenty years, very little has changed. We're better than you, they seemed to proclaim with every shot from downtown to go down, and we don't care who knows.
It's already been established that there's no room for gamesmanship in the Olympics as far as badminton is concerned. The U.S. basketball team left very little room for sportsmanship in this one.
No three-pass rule, no layup-only rule. Just bombs away, time after time after time after time for Carmelo and the gang.
Yes, they're all professionals in some sense and yes, it was more of a mercy-killing than anything else, but still. Winning a game by 83 points? That's just ridiculous.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@REVERSEMAGAZINE
Where are his legs?
"He was kind of joking but he was basically like, 'Would you like to come eat with me at the dining hall?' And I said, 'Um, I'm sorry, I have a curfew.' So I turned that one down, yeah."
– U.S. swimmer Lauren Perdue, turning down LeBron James'
How to celebrate a gold medal in your home country? Getting "blind drunk," you say? Right on.
Well what a day, blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all the messages, Thank You everyone it's been emotional X
— Bradley Wiggins (@bradwiggins) August 2, 2012
Which event is this? We didn't think the long jump had started yet.