While the trials and tribulations of USA Basketball have been documented quite regularly within the US and world press, one story of an epic downfall has failed to gain similar attention.
That is the story of the 2002 World Champions.
As the former Yugoslavian team, Serbia has fallen from the elite of international senior team basketball. Serbia, along with the Czech Republic, Latvia and Poland were eliminated from Eurobasket today. With the elimination, Serbia will have no chance to compete in Beijing at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
The 2007 disaster follows the disappointing ninth place finish for Serbia in 2006 at the World Championship in Japan and their failure to make it to the medal round in Athens in 2004. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Croatia, on the other hand, took a first place finish in their preliminary round group and will advance to the qualification round of 12 teams. Joining Croatia as first place finishers within each group are: Russia, Lithuania and Slovenia, the latter two the most productive countries per capita in sending players to the NBA.