Olympics are confirming what we already knew: NBA officiating is trash

It is safe to say that USA men's basketball has not lived up its expectations. The USA men's basketball team is made up of some of top players around the world. Yet, Team USA still falls short against lower-ranked opponents despite this wealth of talent. Gregg Popovich, the head coach, will not be able to show respect to other teams if all but three of your players have been NBA All-Stars at least once. Yet, you still lose to Evan Fournier or Patty Mills. No matter how little time you had to practice or how many people chose not to participate in the Olympics, your team has the best talent in the world. These games should be won.AdvertisementWhy is Team USA not winning these games? Is there chemistry? As far as anyone can see, not. Did the NBA playoffs not give the players enough time to rest before they headed to Tokyo? Yes, there are many NBA players who participate for different countries such as Joe Ingles in France, Rudy Gobert in France and Precious Achiuwa in Nigeria.However, reports have surfaced indicating that Team USA's problems could be related to officiating.Yahoo Sports reports that several Team USA players, including Jayson Tatum, and Bradley Beal, have confronted officials following no-calls that would have been made in the NBA. Although Team USA members have not publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the Olympic officials, their court mannerisms speak volumes.NBA players are used to being called on moves such as the one below and the one below.AdvertisementThese no-calls are just a few of many examples. It makes me wonder if the NBA refs truly do prefer their stars.It has been long known that the NBA gives its best players preferential treatment. Many of the top players have had their fair share, including Kobe Bryant and Shaquille ONeal. The Ringer's 2019 study found that NBA stars (defined as having six or more All-Star appearances), were 20 percent more likely than other NBA players to receive calls. These same superstars are more likely to be called on offense, but the difference in this regard between superstars and nonsuperstars is only 3.9 percent.AdvertisementThis shows that Olympic athletes are used to making questionable calls as they drive into the lane. Other factors, including a lack of rest between NBA playoffs and Olympics, as well as FIBA basketball rules the NBA doesn't follow (i.e. Officiating was also a key factor in Team USA's disappointing performance.This is not a good look by the NBA. Many basketball fans already appreciate the way the Olympic referees call the games.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe NBA's success is evidently due to its stars. Fans wouldn't want to go to games if they knew their favorite players would foul out in the fourth quarter. This is not something FIBA cares about. They are focused on determining the best international team. The United States is still the favorite to win the gold medal (-250), but they are not the best team right now. They will be able to regain their crown if they stop relying upon the referees for assistance on plays that involve minimal contact.