Wow, slow news week so far. I missed yesterday's Minute because I had to make the drive back to Iowa City and serve sandwich packs all night, but now that I'm back I can return to daily posting (probably). I'm gonna start scavenging the deep, dark depths of the internet for things to write about; can there be some NBA drama? I need training camp to start.
I'm all about Team USA's roster
I was doing my routine morning scroll of Twitter and Reddit to try and whip up some ideas for the Minute and this was one of the first tweets I saw. Players have been dropping out of Team USA camp like flies, so it looks like this is the group of "ragtag" hoopers that's ready to take on the world. It's well-known that the United States is home to the best basketball players in the world. When the FIBA World Cup kicks off on August 31, Team USA will undoubtedly be the favorites to take home the gold, even with their watered down lineup. Four out of the five players pictured above were starters on teams that made the playoffs last season; two of them (Kris Middleton and Brook Lopez) were on the brink of a Finals appearance. De'Aaron Fox almost made his playoff debut, but the Kings are the Kings. They could easily battle for a spot this year, though. This current starting lineup could easily win gold, no doubt in my mind.
Fox can blow past anyone on a fast break and can be a great facilitator with multiple shooters around him. Donovan Mitchell could have a Vince Carter-esque dunk in USA threads, plus he can be a lethal scorer, especially against lesser talent. Kris Middleton just signed a max contract and is fresh off an All-Star season; he could easily put up 30 points per game throughout the tournament. Maybe he could be this iteration of Team USA's Melo. Who should be on the team, by the way. He's the best player in Team USA history. I'm a big fan of the frontcourt. PJ Tucker will put the clamps on anyone, even the most lethal scorer in the league, Kevin Durant. You think a small forward from Serbia coming off the bench is going to blow past PJ? Absolutely not. Fun fact: when PJ Tucker was on the Suns, he was my phone screensaver for a little bit. I loved his intensity. He's also lethal from the corner, so he's going to be splashing alongside Brook Lopez; the new Splash Brothers? Brook is going to be raining over everyone, mainly because he can. I watched him nail something like seven threes live against the worn-down Lakers this season and it was one of the most fascinating things I've ever witnessed. It's damn-near impossible to block his shot, and with a gorgeous big man form, it's just pure water. No other way to describe it.
I'm not sure who's going to make up the bench, but I don't think it really matters. Barring a scenario in which Giannis in fact trades his MVP trophy to the Greek Gods in return for a FIBA gold medal, I think Team USA will easily keep the gold where it belongs. In the meantime, enjoy some highlights of one of the best squads ever assembled:
2K announces All-Decade teams
If you think I'm going to type out each starter on these teams, you're wrong. Just click the tweet; I have to go to work soon. There are already all-time and classic teams in the game, so the addition of an All-Decade team makes sense. 2K has been making me so, so angry over the last few years but they always slide shit like this in to draw me back. Will I ever use these teams? Maybe a few times, just to test them out. The best part about this announcement is the uproar from fans about Dwight Howard being the starting center for the 2010s team. It's crazy to me how people seemed to have forgotten just how good Dwight was/is. Sure, there's been a lot of drama surrounding him the last few years of his career and he's become quite the journeyman, but he's still a solid player. I'm actually surprised that a contender hasn't tried to sign him yet. If I'm Philly, I'm definitely looking at him. Dwight is an eight-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA First Team selection, four-time All-Defensive First Team selection, and a three-team recipient of Defensive Player of the Year. He even brought the Magic to a Finals appearance in 2009; he's a surefire Hall of Famer. His last full season was in 2017-18 for the Charlotte Hornets (he only appeared in nine games for the Wizards last season due to injury), and even on a bad team in less minutes than he's usually played, he put up 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds on 56% shooting. The man can still hoop, and he's been super consistent throughout the decade, even if his teams have not. Who else would people want to be the starter? I could definitely see Boogie having a case, and I wouldn't be mad about it, I'd welcome it. DeAndre Jordan maybe? I'm going off the dome right now, but it's hard to come up with a more deserving center. Casual NBA Twitter really exposed themselves with this one.