Why Team USA won: Kevin Durant. He absolutely owned the last three games of the World Championship, dropping 33 on Russia in the quarterfinals, 38 on Lithuania in the semis, and 28 on Turkey in the gold-medal finale. Everyone in the building knew KD would be the focal point, and yet most of his buckets today were standstill jump shots, as he was able to play catch-and-shoot and score within the flow of the Team USA offense. Read More »
TAG: USA Basketball
Labor Day Weekend is one of my favorites in NYC for one reason: The West Indian Day Parade. Having been born and raised in Seattle, essentially a small town if you’re Black, simply being around 2-3 million people who look like me is something that has to be experienced to be believed. And everybody is wrapped in their national flags — Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, St. Croix, etc. — in one of the most colorful, upbeat parties you’ll ever see. Read More »
I’ve never dealt directly with a bookie, and I don’t know much about gambling, so I have to ask: Is there such a scenario where you’d lose money on “winning” bet? For today’s Team USA vs. Iran matchup, putting $100 on the U.S. to win should cost you at least and extra $50 just out of pure shame in trying to get over so easily.
While Iran did pick up a win yesterday to run their record to 1-2 in Group B, it’s safe to say they’ll be fortunate here to keep the margin under 30. I’m usually one to pull for the underdog, and while there’s a part of me that wants Iran to do well, let’s be realistic: Hamed Haddadi is by far the best player on the team, and he might be the worst player in the NBA. Read More »
When you’re not the ’92 Dream Team and penciled in to flog everybody by 30 or 50 points a night, you probably need some close games under your belt to test your clutch-ness and avoid complacency. For Team USA’s 2010 version, that game happened yesterday, as they barely hung on to beat Brazil in a tough contest that exposed a lot of U.S. weaknesses but also may have done them some good for later in the World Championship … Led by Leandro Barbosa, Tiago Splitter and J.J. Barea‘s long-lost cousin Marcelo Huertas, Brazil took the lead in the first quarter and didn’t give it up until late into the third, picking the U.S. apart with screen-and-rolls, timely threes, and Barbosa’s brand of South American Allen Iverson basketball, heavy on the jack … Read More »
A couple of nights ago, my Dad was talking about the upcoming FIBA World Basketball Championship and Team USA when he asked me, for like the fourth time this summer, “So where are all the superstar guys?”
After running down, again, the list of who was hurt (Kobe, CP, D-Will), who was a free agent (LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh, Boozer), and who just didn’t want to do it (Dwight, J-Kidd, ‘Melo), my Dad seemed confused.
“Wait … so this is the team?” Talking about the guys he saw squeak past Spain by one point on Sunday. “They don’t have none of the superstars!” Read More »
There’s a good chance we won’t know what really happened between Rajon Rondo and the USA Basketball decision-makers until during the NBA season; the next time Rondo goes head-to-head with Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Chauncey Billups or Stephen Curry. Soon after Rondo talked to reporters as if he thought he might be cut from the World Championship roster, it was announced that Rondo pulled himself out of consideration due to the always-mysterious “family matters.” … Before the Spain game, everything seemed cool. Read More »
In a surprise move, Rajon Rondo made it easy for Coach K and Jerry Colangelo by pulling himself out of consideration for Team USA’s final roster going into the FIBA World Championship.
Rondo, along with Danny Granger, logged a DNP-CD in Sunday’s exhibition against Spain, which Coach K implied only happened because he wanted to give on-the-bubble guards Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and Eric Gordon a chance to display what they could do. Read More »
All things considered, Spain vs. Team USA might be the most entertaining basketball rivalry on the planet right now. They don’t meet up nearly as often as Duke and North Carolina, or have the historical context of Lakers vs. Celtics, and their games don’t get as physical as any given Washington D.C. playground war. But as far as producing consistently close results and quality basketball with emotions on high, USA/Spain is up there with any rivalry out there currently … The last time the two national squads met, Kobe led the U.S. in a gold-medal game thriller in the ’08 Olympics over Pau Gasol‘s Spanish team. With the Lakers’ teammates sitting out this summer, yesterday’s pre-World Championship exhibition was another down-to-the-wire contest … Read More »
The best part of building a national basketball team is that you don’t have to abide by the rules and standards of the National Basketball Association. There’s no salary cap, no trades that have to be approved by both sides, no silly criticisms like, “Kevin Durant has to prove he can win a gold medal on his own.”
When building a national team for international competition, all you have to worry about is legit proofs of citizenship and making sure you have all your shots. If you need a guy, conceivably, you can simply go out and get that specific guy. Read More »