Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympic basketball

Woke up at about 4:30 a.m. this morning to feed Charlie, turned on the TV, and looked for Olympic programming on the NBC family of networks. There was something on! So I tuned in to watch ... two Chinese ladies playing ping pong.

My Olympic buzz was over.

But wait, maybe not! I took today off and have been watching the U.S.-Argentina basketball game for the last hour. The first half was alternately exhilarating -- our guys were playing to their potential and dominating for the first quarter-plus -- and frustrating -- watching these Argentinian greaseballs flop and whine their way back into the game while we got lazy on defense, settle for 3-point jumpers, and let the refs dictate play.

So now I'm fired up again and am hoping Lebron, Kobe, and company come out and humiliate Argentina in the second half. And I hope Manu Ginobili doesn't play; he's a terrific player but I can't stand his flopping and constant injuries. And I hope Dwight Howard puts a shot from Luis Scola, master of the 15-second back-down post move, into the upper deck. And I hope Lebron dunks over Andres Nocioni and finally shuts that guy up.

Yeah, I'm sick of not USA Basketball not being the best team in the world.

1 comment:

Scott Tappa said...

Nobody has commented here, which I'll interpret as general apathy toward Team USA's performance in Beijing. But I just got done watching the gold medal win over Spain and feel immensely satisfied that we're world champions again.

Wade was awesome, as were Kobe and Bosh. Our guys didn't let the inconsistent refereeing and cheap shot tactics of the opponent distract from the mission. Well done by everyone involved, hopefully this is a program that can be maintained going forward.

When NBA players started competing in international competition in 1992 these games were blowouts, but now, even when our team has almost all the top NBA players, the games are legitimately close. This is a testament to the improved level of basketball being played around the world. Spain had some big-time players, and were missing one too, just like Argentina. This can mean only good things for the game.

One thing that really struck me was how wild and out of control Spain's bench was after a number of calls or non-calls, with players and staffers running off the bench, throwing towels, getting in refs' faces. It wasn't until the very end that these guys got T'd up. I thought the Americans were the ones who showed so little respect and dignity on the international stage ... double standard here.