Here in the States, we are blessed with more great basketball players than every other county in the world - combined. Rather than just throw the 12 best guys out on the floor every four years and dominate (because that's no fun), why don't we have a fun little tournament for the American public to enjoy?
We're going totally hypothetical 3-person-per team bracket and because it's hypothetical we'll just assume that everyone's healthy. And because I can, let's say that the selection committee that makes up the trial roster is comprised of both USA basketball guys and NBC executives. So we know they want to get the most exciting guys out on the floor. Oh yeah, and the final four teams left in the tournament will make up the 12-man US Olympic roster. Sound fun? I mean, I can tell you that I'd watch it for an hour. Or 3. Or 7. Or however long the tournament took to play out.
The first problem that comes up is the possibility of having a team of three small guards matched up against a team of large forwards/centers. And while I understand that each team will have strengths and weaknesses, but nobody wants to watch a game like that. We want to get fairly well-balanced teams that are simultaneously random. So we'll create pools (keep in mind that I'm just rattling most of these names off the top of my head):
Pool A: The Small Guys (Point Guards)
Pool B: The Big Guys (Power Forwards and Centers)
Pool C: The In-Between Guys (That Would Fall Somewhere Between an A and a B)
Play out the possible team combinations in your head. If we were more technologically advanced I'd put up a thing that would generate random teams for you on command.
My notes on the tournament itself:
- 16 teams of three
- teams are randomly selected (it's good if someone big like Blake Griffin gets eliminated - we're going to win gold anyway)
- final four teams remaining make the Olympic team, but keep playing through until there is a winner
- tournament MVP is selected from the winning team - that's your Olympic captain
- full-court, games to 21 by twos and threes
- that makes 15 games, which shouldn't take longer than the trials for swimming or gymnastics
- guaranteed $1 trillion in advertising revenue during the trials
- also, the ability to buy a JaVale McGee USA jersey becomes a possibility