Team USA has finished their warmups and are set to defend their 2008 gold medal in London, and Knick fans can cheer on Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony as they try to become the first Knicks to win gold since Alan Houston in 2000.
I wish them all the best - especially Tyson, going for his first gold - but the current "Dream Team" seems incomplete to me. It lacks the outside shooting and discount double-checking of the Pride of Dairyland, Steve Novak. I find it hard to believe USA basketball left Novak off the Olympic roster - he's pretty much the closest thing our generation has to John Wayne. Here's a few reasons Team USA will regret leaving Novak off their roster:
1. He's made for international basketball.
When we Americans think of the internation game, we picture goofy big men who can shoot the 3 and do nothing else. That's Novak, baby! That international three-point line was custom-made for him. How the hell did Michael Redd make the 2008 team but Novak didn't warrant an invite to London? Using what the British refer to as "Maths" I have calculated that Novak would shoot 87.8% from the 3 in this tournament.
2. He's tournament tested
Fact: in 2003, Steve Novak single-handedly led Marquette to the Final Four. Single-handedly, you hear? Go ahead, try to name another player on that Marquette team, I dare you! -sticks fingers in ears- What's that? I can't hear you!
3. He's America's white knight
Kevin Love drew some media attention when he went on Jimmy Kimmel and described himself as Team USA's "token white guy." The token white quota is one of the worst-kept secrets in basketball, but if the USA truly needs one, couldn't we find someone better than Kevin Love. Love is an undeniably great basketball player, but as a token white guy, does he truly make the cut? He's from the mean streets of Oregon. He plays in Minnesota - home of both Prince and Morris Day. And he's related to one of the Beach Boys - essential the West Coast precursor to NWA.
Steve Novak, on the other hand, is the model of token whiteness. There's white, and then there's Novak. Not only should he be Team USA's token white guy, he should be allowed to enter the Opening Ceremony astride Mitt Romney's dressage horse Rafalco.
Sadly, it's too late for this so-called Dream Team to include my man Novak. He'll just have to take solace in the fact that his championship belt beats an Olympic medal any day of the week.