Friday, September 8, 2023

Missing Coach K

They've been playing the FIBA Basketball World Cup roughly every four years since 1950 -- a total of 19 tournaments in all.  We've only won it five times:

1.  We won it in 1954 in Brazil.
2.  We won it in 1986 in Spain, when we were trying to get ready for the 1988 Olympics.
3.  We won it in 1994 in Canada with a Dream Team.  (We beat Russia 137-91 in the finals).

And then we won it twice in a row with Coach K:

4.  In 2010, we won it in Turkey, beating Turkey 81-64 in the final.
5.  In 2014, we won it in Spain, beating Serbia 129-92 in the final.

After that, they decided to delay the 2018 Cup until 2019, and Coach K retired as USA basketball coach after the 2016 Summer Olympics.  Since then we have done poorly.  In 2019, we went out in the quarterfinals and came in 7th place.  And today, we were eliminated by Germany in the semi-finals 113-111.

I used to get all worked up about these tournaments.  But over time, I have come to realize that Coach K and I are the only ones who really wanted the Americans to win, so I have moved on.  Still, I think the job Coach K did with the USA basketball team is better than what he did with Duke.  Between 2008 and 2016, he won five consecutive tournaments:  three summer Olympics and two FIBA World Cups.  His record as the coach of Team USA was 88-1, and he went 24-0 in the Olympics.  That is amazing, and we probably won't see anything like it again.

On the other hand, our male amateur golfers did go to Scotland last week and retain the Walker Cup.  So we've got that going for us.

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