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A Ryder Cup for Basketball?
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August 16, 2012, 02:13 AM
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David Stern, commissioner of the NBA, is dissatisfied with Olympic basketball. Either the U.S. wins, which is pretty boring because it ought to win easily, or it loses. 

A reader comments:

By the way, given the closeness of the Spain / US basketball final, a match between an EU all star team (comprised of players from any of the EU countries) against the US team should be organized. There is a very good chance that predominantly white EU all star team would indeed spank the predominantly black US team.

The Ryder Cup in golf is organized that way, with twelve top U.S. players taking on twelve E.U. players every two years. Golf is an individual sport, and the chance to play as a team adds a lot of excitement. The U.S. team usually looks better on paper, but the E.U. is 8-4-1 going back through 1985. A lot of theories have been offered to explain this, such as that the Europeans play better as a team, but none seem conclusive.

Here`s a proposal for Stern: A three game tournament of the stars of U.S. v. the stars of Europe (don`t restrict it to the E.U., because unlike in golf, good European basketball players can be found in non-E.U. countries like Serbia). Hold it whenever it is in the interests of the NBA, such as a few weeks into training camp.

The first game in Barcelona (or other touristy, basketball-oriented European cities), the second in New York (or Chicago or L.A.), the third game, if necessary, in neutral court Shanghai. Ka-ching!