Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

Heading in to these Olympics, one of the players NBA fans were most excited to see was Lithuania’s Jonas Valanciunas. Not only was he a lottery pick in the 2011 draft, there were rumors he’d go No. 2 in this year’s draft, right behind the unibrowed Anthony Davis. That’s how good people think he is and this would be his biggest stage. By playing against NBA competition every single game, we’d finally be able to give Kenny Smith some Raptor news and see how Jonas measured up.

The results? Not so good. He never played more than 16 minutes and often played less than 10. He never scored more than seven points in a game and managed five or more rebounds just three times, while being in constant foul trouble and looking very slow defensively when forced out of his comfort zone, even though he made the right decisions. Basically, he looked like a 20-year-old playing against grown men while being coached by a guy who wanted to give his veteran squad its best chance to win a medal.

However, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, he did eventually learn one very important lesson in London.

After introducing myself as a scribbler from Toronto, to which he replied “good to meet you” and that puts him ahead in my books, first question out was what did you learn here?

“I learned how not to foul out.”

Now that, my friends, is a valuable lesson. Just ask Greg Oden (don’t mention the knees). Once you learn how to play defense without hacking everybody who comes near you, you can actually stay on the court, which is very important when it comes to playing basketball. Someday, David Lee might even learn about it.

So there you go, Raptor fans. Maybe the tournament wasn’t the most exciting thing you could hope to see from a future player, but at least he learned something that’s going to come in handy in the future. Then once he learns how to complain any time a foul is called on him, he’ll truly be NBA ready.

Join The Jones on the sonic journey that is The Overdose Olympics!

On today’s show, TBJ recaps the four quarterfinal games of the men’s Olympic basketball tournament in London, England. Topics include: LeBron’s triple-double, USA’s hilarious defense, more threes, Barbosa breaking Nocioni’s ankles, the Argentineans’ ball movement, a frustrated Batum punching JCN in the groin, Llull’s defense on TP, Kirilenko’s do-it-all line, and why Lithuania refused to play Valanciunas more minutes.

All that, plus an Aussie sings Neil Diamond’s “America,” stripper poles, a chilled out Russian high jumper, and American rower Henrik Rummel’s “Ol’ Jasper.”

So give your eyes a rest, and embrace this audio explosion.


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We went over this yesterday. Step one to not punching other players in the junk is simple — don’t punch them in the junk. I guess Nic Batum didn’t get the memo because holy smokes is that a serious nut punch.

Look how angry he looks. I’m on record as being against punching your opponents in the balls, but just let me make sure everyone knows that I am SUPER against looking this ferocious when you do it. It takes a bad situation and makes things way worse. This makes Fecundo Campazzo look gentle.

He had a reason though. From Adrian Wojnarowski:

“I wanted to give him a good reason to flop,” Batum said.

People have said that flopping has gotten out of hand, but I’m not sure they meant for players to take matters in to their own hands, literally. Though I will concede that a rogue nut-puncher traveling throughout the NBA would certainly be an effective policing strategy.

On the plus side, at least the All-Punched in the Nuts team finally has a point guard. Between La Bomba, Julius Hodge, Carmelo Anthony, Channing Frye and Chris Kaman, that’s a pretty solid team in this new world where punching opponents in the genitals is the cool thing to do. Not only are they complete, they’ve also learned to play though a nut punch. Looking forward to them uniting in the 2016 Olympics and taking home gold.

Just make sure to bring cups.

(via BuzzFeed)

Sometimes basketball practice can get so boring that you need to break things up by grabbing a ball from some staffer and nailing a really deep three while the rest of your teammates stretch. If you can follow that up with a sumo squat, even better. Really keeps things loose, heading in to a boring game against Australia. Plus, you never know when you’re going to need to add the 30-footer to the offense. Kevin Durant used it against Argentina and it seemed pretty effective.

I don’t want to alarm anyone because the likelihood of Kevin Love being lost in London and no one noticing is very slim. However, I feel like I would be doing everyone a great disservice if I didn’t alert everyone to the possibility.

To wit, this tweet by Chris Paul that accompanied the picture above:

Train Station after the game! #Fasterwaybacktothehotel lol

No problem, right? If Team USA wants to take a train back to their hotel because it’s faster, that’s cool. That sort of “of the people” thing made Charles Barkley a star at the Barcelona Games. And as you can see, all 12 members of the team are present for this photo taken before boarding.

This is when things start to get dicey.

Read the rest of this entry »

Simply put, there are not many more dastardly tricks you can pull on a basketball court than smacking a dude on the nuts as he takes a jumper. Just ask Channing Frye how he felt after that dirty rotten scoundrel Kevin Garnett tapped the Rockies and he’ll agree. When a player is taking a jump shot, he shouldn’t have to worry about taking a slap to the balls.

So imagine everyone’s surprise when it happened during yesterday’s United States-Argentina game. In the Olympics, the world’s paragon of completely unimpeachable athletic integrity, no less. Shame on Facundo Campozzo for sullying the Games’ good name.

Lucky for us, the teams involved presented us with an effective and civilized game plan for addressing on-court nut shots.

STEP 1: Condemn the ball-slapper, as Team USA did. From the Chicago Tribune:

‘‘It was wrong,’’ Kobe Bryant (11 points in 21 minutes) said angrily of the jab. ‘‘We told him, ‘You don’t do that.’ ’’

Keeping things straightforward and to the point is the most important thing here. Saying “You don’t do that” might seem like a no doy situation to you, but sometimes that’s what the offending party needs to hear. Just address the situation face-to-face in an adult manner and you are halfway to remedying the problem.

STEP 2: Apologize for hitting another guy in the balls, as Facundo Campozzo did. From the Oakland Tribune:

“He socked Carmelo in the (groin) when he was shooting the ball,” Bryant said. “You can’t do that. He was wrong. I have a great amount of respect for Argentina and how hard they’ve played. But that was uncalled for, and I let him know. To his credit, he said, ‘It was my fault.’ “

Even though he suffered a momentarily lapse in non-nut-tapping judgment, Campozzo realizes that what he did was wrong and takes credit for his mistake. He’s right when he says “It’s my fault,” because there is literally no other way that one guy racking another guy can be interpreted, but it’s good to get that out in the open and start a dialogue that should hopefully help avoid an international incident.

As you can see, this is a fairly simple plan for dealing with a player taking a shot to the junk. Quotes like “You can’t do that” and “It was my fault” prove that you don’t need a whole bunch of drama and anger when a guy decides to send his opponent on a one-way trip to Bangkok. Yes, it helps having an elder statesman like Kobe Bryant around to mediate the affair, but really all it takes is eight words broken up in to two sentences. Very easy.

However, there also exists an even easier plan for avoiding nut taps on the basketball courts. I present it to you with no further delay.

STEP 1: Don’t hit another guy in the balls.

That’s the whole plan. Keep that in mind any time you’re playing basketball and things should be fine.

You know, I think Carmelo Anthony put it best.

“Uhhhhhh …. what?” — all of us when we saw this happen, Team USA included