The final big event of the Olympic games began with Carmelo Anthony playing extremely well – yes, I was stunned as well. For Team USA this was an added bonus and almost certainly an aberration. Melo wasn’t going to carry this team to Gold. They needed their stars to do what they do. Lebron, Durant, CP3 and Kobe did, leading Team USA to back to back Olympic Gold with a 107-100 victory over Spain.
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Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category
Posted by Devang Desai under Basketball on Aug 08, 2012
Spain beat France in the quarterfinals of the Men’s Basketball tournament this afternoon. The lasting memory from this game won’t be the Spanish victory – but rather Nicolas Batum’s venemous low blow on Juan Carlos Navarro. The intent is horrifyingly clear. Batum lost his cool:
Batum believes Spain threw their final prelim game against Brazil in order to get France in the final eight. With what we’ve seen re: match fixing during these games the claim doesn’t sound that farfetched. With that said – what Batum did was beyond gutless.
Somehow, the French forward avoided ejection. The Olympics – where no one’s testicles are safe.
Gif via @BuzzFeedSports
Posted by Chris Lund under Basketball on Aug 03, 2012
Move aside Lisa Leslie, your four Olympic gold medals couldn’t earn you one piece of history which now belongs to Liz Cambage of Australia.
Cambage became the first woman to ever dunk in a women’s basketball Olympic game.
You’ll recall that Leslie was the first woman to dunk in a WNBA game back in 2002. She never did pull off the feat in an Olympic game.
Enter Cambage who threw down in the third quarter of Australia’s game against Russia
Cambage called the dunk an “out of body experience” as she had never dunked in a game before despite standing at 6-foot-8. All told, it’s a symbolic moment for women’s basketball, a sport which is keen on whittling down their list of never done befores.
Maybe we can expect Cambage to starting dunking on the regular as a member of the Tulsa Shock.
To paraphrase the opening scene of Casino Royale, the first one is tough, the second one is much easier.
While the comparisons between the 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team and the original 1992 “Dream Team” will likely hang over this competition from start to finish, it shouldn’t distract us from what should be one of the most competitive and talent laden international men’s basketball tournaments we’ve seen.
If you want a little more insight in to men’s basketball at the 2012 Summer Games, here you go.
Posted by Scott Carefoot under Basketball on Jul 17, 2012
The sporting world erupted with shock and laughter last week when USA Men’s Basketball star Kobe Bryant expressed his belief that this year’s team could potentially beat the legendary “Dream Team” that outscored their opponents by an average of 44 points per game on the way to Olympic gold. With the casual confidence we’ve come to expect from Bryant, here’s how he broke down the two squads:
“Well, just from a basketball standpoint, they obviously have a lot more size than we do — you know, with (David) Robinson and (Patrick) Ewing and (Karl) Malone and those guys. But they were also — some of those wing players — were also a lot older, at kind of the end of their careers. We have just a bunch of young racehorses, guys that are eager to compete. So I don’t know. It’d be a tough one, but I think we’d pull it out.”
As you’d expect, there was a strong reaction to Bryant’s claim, including this one from none other than Michael Jordan himself: “For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done.” Charles Barkley made an even bolder claim: “Other than Kobe, LeBron (James) and Kevin Durant, I don’t think anybody else on that team makes our team.”
All this chest-beating makes for great entertainment and inspires tremendous debate, but it’s ultimately pointless for the same reason why it’s always pointless to compare teams and players from different eras — until somebody builds a time machine, we’ll never know for certain which team was better.
If you think the Dream Team would make quick work of this year’s Team USA roster, you point at their Hall of Fame résumés and superior group of big men. If you’re in the minority that thinks the modern team would triumph, you’re obviously considering their superior athleticism and training methods. We can use statistics, checklists, science or flat-out bravado to make our cases, but none of them are worth the copper in a penny, much less the gold in an Olympic medal.
Every generation wants to believe that the athletes from their heyday are the greatest of all-time, and none of their opinions should be taken seriously. The Dream Team’s dominance is unquestionable, but take a good look at the rosters of the silver and bronze medalists from the 1992 Olympics and try to convince me that I should be impressed. The only events more inevitable than that team’s Olympics triumph are death and taxes.
None of this will stop the debates from raging on, and nobody who favors either of the teams spanning two decades will be persuaded by the events of this summer’s inevitable American triumph. Of course, there is a minute possibility that the unthinkable could occur and Team USA could repeat their embarrassing failure at the 2004 games in Athens. I won’t say I’m rooting for that to take place, but it might teach future American hoopsters to think twice before daring to call out the most sacred cows in America’s history of Olympian competition.