Can you legitimately call the U.S. Olympic basketball team the world's best at this point?
I was looking at this report on the site and took umbrage at the first par.
"Team USA showed their strength as the world's top basketball team (my emphasis) powered past European champion Russia 89-68 before an energised crowd in Shanghai in an Olympic Games warm-up match."
So the question came up; can you legitimately call the current U.S.A. men's basketball team the world's top team when they haven't won a major international competition in six years? I don't think anyone assumes that this particular team isn't the gold medal favourite, but can you say they are the current top team in the world?
I'm of the opinion that at this point you have to call Spain the best team in the world. They are the current FIBA World Champions and until someone comes along and proves otherwise.
My colleague contends that this is not purely hyperbole, asking whether, in my opnion, I would realistically call Argentina or Spain the top basketball team in the world. As he put it, how do you determine this title? If you look at win/loss, or number of international tournaments it would be hard not to say the U.S. team is not a clear front runner.
I hold to my original position, that until (or, realistically "when") the U.S.A. team sweeps everyone in their path to regain the Olympic gold medal, then, and only then, should they earn the title of world's top team.