After the original Dream Team there the US went through a period of over confidence and eventually was not as dominant as they should have been, failing to win in the Greece Olympics. After the last embarrassment, it was great to see all of the great players who are now on the team. In watching the game today against China it was really amazing to realize the collection of players that was out there.
After the game there was an interview (click above for the video) with Lebron James who has seemed to become the vocal leader of the team. He was asked how this compared to the NBA finals or the NBA All-Star game. He said it was by far the biggest thing he had ever played in. Now it was estimated that 500 million Chinese watched the game and I would assume millions more around the world. It was said to be the most widely watched basketball game in the history of the sport.
It hit me as to the motivation of Lebron and possibly some of the other athletes. Lebron wants to be a global icon. He has made this claim in the past and it can be seen in his actions. Basketball is very much a global game and one of the largest passions of the Chinese people. Lebron would not have missed the chance to increase his global icon status on the largest stage on the planet.
Kobe has been said to be the best basketball player in the game and it shows the way he plays on this stage. Kobe wants to be famous but more than that he want to win and be one of the best players ever. If Lebron could ever get that killer instinct like Kobe or MJ there is no telling what he could do. Lebron becomes a free agent next summer and if he wanted to win he would consider Portland. With the players they have up and coming adding Lebron would be SCARY. But unfortunately Portland is not a big enough stage and the west coast is hard because of TV coverage. He will end up at the NY Knicks or the Brooklyn Nets. My bet is the Nets but we will see.