USA men’s basketball collapsed down the stretch in an ugly loss to France Sunday night, displaying even more cause for concern in the process. Former NBA legend Magic Johnson, an integral member and co-captain of the 1992 “Dream Team,” thinks one player could have made a drastic impact.
This year’s Olympic team is talented. There’s no doubt about it. But it’s not as legendary as past USA teams. It could have been if one player hadn’t opted out of playing: LeBron James.
The NBA superstar limped to the finish line of the season. He dealt with a high-ankle sprain for the majority of the second half of the season that continued to bother him in the playoffs. Couple that with his new role in Hollywood and James simply couldn’t find time for the Tokyo Olympics this year. Let’s be honest: he would’ve made a drastic impact. Johnson agrees.
Johnson noted James’ ability to make his surrounding teammates betters in a new tweet on Monday. That would’ve helped the current Team USA, which is flooded with too many iso-players.
“What the USA Men’s Basketball team is missing is a guy who’s won 4 NBA Championships (making him a proven winner), the best leader in the game of basketball, and someone who makes his teammates better…aka LeBron James!,” Johnson said on Twitter.
What the USA Men’s Basketball team is missing is a guy who’s won 4 NBA Championships (making him a proven winner), the best leader in the game of basketball, and someone who makes his teammates better…aka LeBron James!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) July 26, 2021
He’s right. USA basketball desperately misses distributors like LeBron James. Magic Johnson knows a thing or two about that.
Team USA is full of talented players. But both Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard have made a name for themselves thanks to iso ball. That doesn’t work too well at the international level.