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Monday, August 13, 2012
USA Basketball is golden again

By Dick Vitale

US Mens Basketball
Team USA's depth proved too much for other nations to overcome at the London Olympics.

The United States showed its supremacy again in basketball, as both the American men and women left London wearing gold. It was awesome, baby, with a capital A!

Mike Krzyzewski and Geno Auriemma showed great leadership as the Americans lived up to expectations. There was a tremendous amount of pressure considering that both teams were heavy favorites.

My friends, talent and depth were keys to capturing the gold in London.

While the world has made great strides in the sport, the United States still has the best players on the court. When you look at the men's and women's teams, from top to bottom, they are flat-out loaded.

It helps when you have LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul. Then throw in Carmelo Anthony off the bench, or Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, etc. These guys are stars on their NBA teams, and other countries cannot match up.

For a quarter or a half, America's opponents can keep it interesting, then they get worn out by the depth.

The same can be said for the women's team. Up front, you face Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings. If you stop Diana Taurasi or Sue Bird, there's Maya Moore, Angel McCoughtry, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen waiting. U-S-A! U-S-A! It's now 41 straight wins in Olympic basketball for the women.

These players are the crème de la crème in the WNBA. They are simply too good. Even when challenged, the women made adjustments. Trailing by four points at halftime against Australia in the Olympic semifinals, the team picked up its defensive intensity and stopped Liz Cambage and Lauren Jackson. Even with Taurasi saddled with four fouls, the squad prevailed by double figures.

Auriemma's team won the gold by beating France by 36 points. The French entered the game with a 7-0 record. Wow!

Congratulations to the red, white and blue for making everyone proud of their gold medal efforts.