Report: The Olympic Hoops Arena Is Throwing Off Team USA

Naturally, the players on Team USA are used to playing in large arenas where fans want to be as close to the game as possible. It’s not the case that fans’ attitudes at the Olympics are any different. Fans just physically aren’t able to sit courtside. That distance, it turns out, is slightly throwing off the team’s shooting eye.

Today’s Los Angeles Times talked with some USA members about playing in the temporary Olympic Basketball Arena, which is basically a court, 12,000 seats and white cladding. It’s a hell of a tent. You can watch the construction here to see that this thing won’t be sticking around very long once the Olympics and Paralympics end.

The 20 feet of space between court and fan may take some getting used to, but it had better be a quick adjustment — the semifinals and finals will be played at a different arena, the North Greenwich Arena closer to downtown. What’s likely a contributing factor to the extra space is that the temporary arena is also housing handball.

“None of us were allowed in here before the game for more than an hour. It may take a few games to get adjusted,” U.S. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Or, as Kevin Love said: “It does help when the court is more condensed.”

LeBron James, however, has the perfect solution against overmatched opponents.

“I don’t know. I’m not a shooter,” he said. “I drive and dunk the ball. It doesn’t bother me.”

Photo via Inhabitat.

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