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At the FIBA World Cup, Argentina steps into the shadow of their golden generation

When Manu Ginobili and Andres Nocioni embraced after Argentina’s loss to Team USA in the basketball quarterfinals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, it spelled the end of an era. The success on the international stage that peaked with a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics gave way to a new crop of players, tasked with continuing the legacy of the most prolific generation in the history of South American basketball.

Luis Scola, 39, was part of that golden generation and remains as much on the current national team that takes the floor in China at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. A key figure, Scola embraced the incoming crop of players one by one. And in that passing of the torch, Facundo Campazzo, a point guard for Real Madrid in Spain’s Liga ACB, stepped up.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

Work, dedication, humility and conviction are the four pillars that depict the Argentine national team, one that reached its zenith in the era when Manu had flowing locks and regularly dunked and now survives with Ginobili bald and retired. Argentina, simply put, is a team that lacks the marquee names.6

Wednesday marked the 15th anniversary of Argentina’s Olympic gold in Athens. That magical title was their most notable achievement. There were others: silver at the 2002 FIBA World Championships in Indianapolis, and two wins over the Dream Team, albeit a diminished one. But their most relevant accomplishment was laying the foundation of concepts that have enabled the team to find its finest version with the available talent. Stars may shine with their respective teams, but then may disappoint on their national teams. In basketball, Argentina has managed to do the opposite: Their players deliver their best performances in that sky-blue and white jersey. That’s the legacy of that wonderful team and a product of what then-national team coach Ruben Magnano and his staff imprinted on their players.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“We are done talking about the golden generation. We admire them, we love them, they are our role models,” said Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez. “We are here because we saw them and followed their footsteps, but they have become part of our history. We don’t want to be compared with anyone.”

There is nothing to suggest that Argentina will achieve that seemingly surreal success at the 2019 World Cup in China. The golden generation had more than two elite players at every position. That is not the case with the current team.