Eastern Bloc Countries in earlier years

It amazes me how far ahead training was with them and their dominance in a lot of other sports, but why did they never seem to get to America as far as basketball was concerned? Just was on my mind…

Americans play basketball, Russians play hockey. I guess cultural aspects were one part of it. They had the height, but I don’t know if they had the athletes. Yeah they can get someone strong or fast, but also skilled? That comes from experience and coaching. Sabonis was a badass though when he was young.

:smiley: We’ll while you guys in the States hammered the Russians in basketball, Canadians have been beating them in hockey.

I think the only sport that Europeans still dominate over North Americans is soccer. The U.S team is okay (barely), but Canada’s soccer team is embarassing.

Didn’t the Russians have a good Olympic basketball record… early 70’s 80’s pre “dream team” time??

Before the ‘‘dream team’’ started playing in the Olimpics and World Championships USA used to send teams consisted of college players which is why other countries were often able to win,but nowdays the gap between the NBA and Europe is closing so the dream teams are starting to lose games.In the last World Championship in Indianapolis USA lost to Argentina and Yugoslavia.

Not to make excuses, but if the most talented players from the US came to play, they’d still kick everyone’s ass. The last team was a disaster. First of all George Karl pisses everyone off. Second, the selection committee is dumb with player selection. Third, the US “team” doesn’t practice much, so they’re not used to playing together or under intl. rules.

A line-up of Kidd, Kobe/T-Mac, Artest, Duncan/KG, and Shaq would win by 50 every night. Anyways, I think the U.S. should be sending college players, but that won’t workout because kids are pro at 14 in Europe.

Eastern European sports training back than was very scientific. They had sports schools. Each team had its own group of sports scientist. They had it down to science. They had each sport broken down with team 'models", projecting the outcome. Money, politics have slowed down the process or progression of Eastern European sports.

my point was already made

Well, in the 70s and 80s the USSR used to win all the international hockey titles. But maybe because the Canadians didn’t sent the big profi-stars then.

But for the Europeans - they still dominate most of the field events.

Sports like American football, baseball and basketball are US sports and were never popular in Europe. Of the 3 Basketball used to be most played in EU and got very popular recently.

We must not forget that eastern block is not just former Soviet Union but also Bulgaria ,Romania,Poland,Hungary,former East Germany and former Czechoslovakia and they were also a constant winners of medals.

That’s not entirely true. The only time the Russians would win an international hockey title with all the best players competing for each country* woud be at '81 Canada Cup. They also won the 84 and 88 Olympics (amateur players only).

After the USSR beat Canada 8-1 at the 1981 Canada Cup, it was pretty much one-way traffic after that…

In 84, USSR lost the semi-finals, and in 1987 Canada beat them 2 games to 1 in the finals. Heck Canada even won the 1976 Canada Cup- there’s a reason why it was called the Canada Cup it’s the World Cup now though.

It can only be argued that in the World Junior Championships that the USSR was better in the 80’s - winning 5 gold in the 80’s compared to Canada’s 3.

The other Warsaw Pact countries did not win a single gold medal during this time.*

*when the best players from all countries were present. Tournaments like the IIHF Men’s World Championships were usually won by the Soviets as the tournament takes place during the NHL season when the world’s top players are unavailable for international tournaments.

I know, I had the IIHF Men’s World Championships in mind, knowing the NHL stars did not take part…so it wasa questionable statement from my side, I know…

I remember when the CSSR beat the USSR - was like a revolution on the field…a political thing…

Yeah winning all those tournaments gave the Russians an inflated international win total. But they sent their best players, we did not because they were in the middle of an NHL season.

The Czech’s and Slovaks have always had great teams - even at the Junior levels. They always got overlooked because they lost the big games against the Russians and Canadians - until Nagano.