New structure is reaping immediate on-court benefits

I have written several articles over the years about USA Basketball and its place in the international game, often pointing out its deficiencies and offering my suggestions on how to make things better. Now, with USA Basketball having a great showing at the World Championship in Japan, the most important overall point should not be lost.

These are not victories owing to just players, just coaching style, or just adjustments made to international play. The manner in which the U.S. national team is conducting itself on and off the floor is a first step in a process -- and a very impressive one. It is a preview of things to come and signals a new day for USA Basketball.

Remember, this U.S. team has had no more time to prepare than other teams in the past. This team is operating on the same number of days of practice, preparation and playing, and with the same pool of players that have limited international experience. The immediate results, though, are due to the structure of the enterprise and the collective attitudes and commitment of the participants.