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Gold Medal or NBA Championship?


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#1 magicbalala245

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Posted August 03, 2008 - 05:22 PM

personally i agree with the article. It's about the NBA ring that defines players not Gold Medals. When we say Michael Jordan we think six rings not his gold medals. And isn't every kids dream to win a NBA championship. I go in my backyard pretending to be Kobe making the game winner in game 7 NBA Finals to win the championship. Im not saying getting Gold is a joke either, but when it comes down to what players really want i think the NBA championship is in there head
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It's August and we've reached the dog days of the NBA offseason. Fortunately, though, this year NBA fans have the Olympics to help bridge the gap between summer and the start of NBA training camps in October giving us NBA freaks something to keep our minds occupied for a few weeks.

During one of my recent weekly radio appearances with Brian Noe on Fox Sports Radio's "The Real Deal," an interesting question was posed about the Olympics due to the fact NBA chatter is typically slow this time of year. The question went something like this: Is it more meaningful to win an NBA championship or a gold medal in the Olympics?

Like most questions worth pondering, this question must be attacked from multiple angles. Many players born in countries other than America take a significant amount of pride in representing their countries and the NBA isn't necessarily viewed as the end all be all. For them, winning a gold medal on the basketball court is something they shoot for all of their lives. However, in America things are a bit different.

When asked whether winning a gold medal would be more meaningful than winning an NBA championship, members of Team USA are almost obligated to say winning a gold medal would be more meaningful simply because if an NBA player answers in any other way he runs the risk of being called unpatriotic.

But is this really the truth? In most cases, the answer is probably not.

For example, how often do you hear talking heads discuss the number of gold medals any NBA player has won over the course of his career when trying to judge his legacy? If you answered almost never, you're exactly correct.

How often do you hear aging 300+ pound centers (and you know who you are Shaq) rap about another center not having as many gold medals as he does?

Okay, so you get the point.

If a gold medal was really in any way comparable to an NBA title, the careers of Charles Barkely and Patrick Ewing -- just to name a couple -- would be framed in an entirely different way. Instead of being looked upon as two of the best big men who ever played the game not to win a title, they would be two big men who won gold medals and therefore were instantly considered to have had complete and legendary careers. However, since an NBA title is the measuring stick for basketball greatness in the United States, both players will always be looked at as not quite as great as they could have been by virtue of coming up short in The NBA Finals.

Again, this is not to imply every country views things the same way, but in America an NBA title is unquestionably the litmus test for greatness.

As a 12-year-old kid growing up and playing basketball it was a lot of fun to watch the original "Dream Team" compete in the 1992 Olympics. And yes, I was "that kid" out on the playgrounds and in the driveway pretending to be Magic Johnson leading the Americans to another 70-point blowout.

Still, what I really dreamed of was some day winning an NBA championship. Sure, it would have been an honor to stand on that podium and have a gold medal draped around my neck, too, but what I really wanted to do was hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy high above my head with tears streaming down my face just the way I saw players like Magic, Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan do on the small television in my family's living room. And chances are my dreams were very similar to the dream of millions of other kids growing up in America.

So while it might be politically correct to say winning a gold medal would be more meaningful than winning an NBA championship -- and you will probably hear more than a couple members of Team USA say something like this over the course of the next three weeks or so -- the truth is getting that ring is really what it's all about. Only the ring can complete a NBA player's legacy, and only the ring can ensure one achieves the equivalent of basketball immortality.


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#2 L.A.K.E.R

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Posted August 03, 2008 - 05:37 PM

If I remember correctly, a while back on AM 570, during the Joe Mcdonnell Experience, there was a looong discussion regarding the topic of gold medals and NBA rings. They chanced upon the subject after Kobe had stated somewhere that the gold medal would be a bigger achievement to him than an NBA championship. I don't think this should be taken out of context as him saying he'd rather win a medal than the championship, but that he'd like to add another trophy of sorts to his collection. If a player has already won a championship, then the importance of winning it becomes somewhat diminished. Not to say that this happens to all players, but it does happen to some. However, once a player wins that championship he was craving, he'll aim for something else. In this case, it's the gold medal. Some NBA players see winning a gold medal as something bigger than the championship simply because it solidifies their standing as the best in the world and not in the NBA. It gives them recognition from the rest of the world. Also, it's not only the stars that win the championships, but everyone one of the 11-14 other guys on the team.

I think some players may see the gold medal as a bigger achievement because there are only a select few in the world that win the gold medal as opposed to 12-15 people winning an NBA ring every year.

Just my thoughts, and all is IMO

#3 Maddocks

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Posted August 03, 2008 - 05:46 PM

I dont know, I mean one is for city pride, the other is for country pride.

I watched the USA Basketball:Redemption on NBA tv and the way they show them and how focused they are....and how coach K said kobe was crying just holding the usa jers, i think it really does mean more to the players then us as fans.

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#4 nameant

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Posted August 03, 2008 - 07:02 PM

Well it depends who you are I guess. If you're a guy like Kobe and already have multiple rings, then yeah I can see how a Gold medal would mean more to you. Especially at this stage of his career. When you have accomplished so much, you want to keep accomplishing things you have yet to. A Gold medal is that for some guys. What is missing from Kobe's resume? A Finals MVP and a Gold medal. Both are coming soon. :mellow:

#5 lyk13

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Posted August 03, 2008 - 08:23 PM

I'd say, for being in the league itself, definitely is the ring. But being an american, it's the medal. I say both are important, but country over state. The states are part of the country. So in part, medal definitely has a greater meaning over the ring, but FOR THE LEAGUE that you are in and representing, it's the ring.

Jeez...I felt compelled to keep repeating comparisons..... ;)




#6 The Original 81

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Posted August 04, 2008 - 07:02 PM

Well it depends who you are I guess. If you're a guy like Kobe and already have multiple rings, then yeah I can see how a Gold medal would mean more to you. Especially at this stage of his career. When you have accomplished so much, you want to keep accomplishing things you have yet to. A Gold medal is that for some guys. What is missing from Kobe's resume? A Finals MVP and a Gold medal. Both are coming soon. :omg:


:omg: :omg: :omg:

#7 ファイナルファンタジ

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Posted August 04, 2008 - 09:57 PM

I would probably have to say Gold Medal because it feels like you played against everyone in the world while NBA Championship is just the NBA. But then again you could make the case that the NBA has all the world's best players so it could go either way.

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