Jerry Colangelo was asked if the close games were a product of other teams catching up or the Americans simply not playing to their potential.

“A combination of all of it. But what I’m just saying is you look around, you look at the programs that may be big-time programs going forward," said Colangelo. "People are talking about Canada, people are talking about Australia, they’re talking about Argentina losing their (older) players. Some of the programs are going up, some are going down, but the healthiest thing for the game of basketball is to have competition around the world that makes it even more intriguing. But we’re just going to continue to do everything that we do to stay on top.”

The United States has won gold in the Olympics in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

"We’ve been helping in basketball around the world for 50 years," Colangelo said. "We’ve taught the world the game. We’ve taught their coaches, players — look at the number of (international) players in the NBA, look at the number of international players in college today, in the states. So we’re all for that. I want to see the level raised."


Colangelo began rehabilitating the USA Basketball program in 2005.

“I’m all for raising the bar for global basketball,” he began. “The more interest in basketball on all levels, I’m for. I’m a lifer in the game. I love the game. Basketball is the No. 2 sport in the world, (but) we just need to see these other countries get their acts together and become more competitive.

“I’d love to see that. Everyone would love to see that. I’m not going to be making excuses for anyone about our (dominance). Someone said to me (after the game), one of the officials said to me, ‘You know next time you play, you ought to play with four.’ And I said, ‘No, maybe the other teams better get their act together and compete.’ ”