La Press in Tokyo | The fall of the American Empire

La Press in Tokyo |  The fall of the American Empire

(Tokyo) What’s going on with the American men’s basketball team?

Over the past month, this galaxy of NBA stars has sunk into the black hole. She has now suffered three defeats. First in the warm-up matches, against Nigeria and Australia. And then against France – France! -, 83-76, at the start of the Olympics.

« [La France] It makes more cheese than basketball players, ”he joked The Wall Street Journal. Notice, I have no problem with that. Yves Boisvert also found us a great little district square on Wednesday. For those of us banned from restaurants for another week, Panoramics was like taking a pot of wild boar out of its pot in the middle of the desert.

So, Americans worry about their basketball team. The defeat against France was painful. Mainly for pride. She reminded them of a scene from the film Rush Hour3. An American-phobic taxi driver who meets Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in Paris tells them: “You can no longer beat Europeans in basketball! Well, today this is not a joke. This is a fact.

How to explain this?

After all, American training is not a strength. He’s talented – Jason Todd is on the NBA’s first All – Star team, while Kevin Durant has won two playoff MVP titles. It also depends on the players of the character. Defensive star Jur Holiday has won the championship with Milwaukee Bucks, and Damien Lillard has won the Twimon-Stokes trophy, which was awarded to the “best team player”.

Unlike the 1992 Games, the year of the first dream team in the Olympics, other countries have also been betting on star athletes. Not just one or two. Full.


In 1992, there were less than 30 international players in the NBA. That’s a generous number. Growing up in the United States, I have included many players who have represented this country in international competitions such as Patrick Ewing, who was born in Jamaica.

In 2021? There were 107 foreigners from 41 different countries. Among them:

  • Serbian Nicola Jokic, Player of the Year;
  • Frenchman Rudy Cobert, defensive player of the year;
  • Gionis Antetoconcombo of Greece, playoff MVP;
  • Slovenian Luca Tonic, named in the first All-Star squad.

“The talent gap is shrinking every year as more and more great players come in from around the world,” US head coach Greg Bopovich said after defeating his family against the French. This can be easily seen by studying the differences between Americans and their rivals as professionals participate in the Olympics.

United States team differences at the Olympics

Barcelona (1992): +350

Atlanta (1996): + 254

Sydney (2000): + 173

Athens (2004): +37

Beijing (2008): + 223

London (2012): +257

Rio (2016): + 180

That’s right, the Americans had the best games in 2008 and 2012, thanks to a great prize led by Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul. But even then, we were far from the spectacular dominance of the Barcelona sports team, crushing all of its opponents by at least 38 points – especially the Cubans by 79 points!

Paradoxically, it is this exceptional performance of the 1992 Dream Group that complicates the course of today’s Americans. Because after the Barcelona game, all the kids in the world wanted to fly like Michael Jordan. Send the ball like Magic Johnson behind their backs. Shoot from the moon like a lorry bird.

In my high school, which had no basketball tradition, all of a sudden we had two clubs. And intrinsic basketball. A great competition for graduates, in which even women who had never dripped participated.

The hysteria occurred in Saint-Hubert. But also in Athens. In Lupljana. In Sombor. In Saint-Quentin. In the following years, clubs in these towns and villages trained new players. Such as Zionis Antedocoanbo, Luca Tonic, Nicola Joke and Rudy Cobert.

Today, the success of these international stars inspires Greek, Slovenian, Serbian and French children to shoot in a school. Rub shoulders with the best ones in the neighborhood on the outdoor pitch. The wheel is now well oiled. It changes automatically, without being pushed.

Are we witnessing the end of American domination?

I trust him. Maybe it would be an insult to American supporters.

But the game clearly won.

Our Canadian teams

If we haven’t told you much about our Canadian teams, it’s because most of them are still in their infancy. Softball won bronze earlier this week. How are the others?


  • In women’s water polo, the Canadians missed the first two games against the Australians and the Spaniards, before beating the South Africans, 21-1. This win should be enough for them to advance to the quarterfinals. However, they are in danger of facing a world power there. Probably the United States, Hungary or Russia.
  • In the men’s volleyball game, Canadians fight. They have two games. Logically, they won against Venezuela and lost against the Poles. 2-3 achievements may advance to the quarterfinals and earn a tie for fourth and final place. Their fate depends on the results of other meetings. Light a lamp and do three recitations I salute Mari
  • In women’s basketball, the competition is still young. Canadian women (4This World rankings) Failed early start for the Spaniards (3This) Before defeating the South Koreans (19)This) Early Thursday. Next enemies: Serbs (8This). It is playable.
  • In women’s rugby, the Canadians began their journey as lions with a 33-0 massacre against the Brazilians on Thursday morning. They should easily qualify for the quarterfinals.
  • In men’s field hockey, things got off to a bad start. Three defeats in three games.
  • Finally, in women’s football, the Canadians will face the Brazilians in the quarterfinals on Friday. Two forms of equal power. Also, during the friendly match both teams were tied 0-0 in June. The winning team will face either the United States or the Netherlands in the semifinals.

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