Posted tagged ‘Olympic Basketball’

US Men’s Basketball Team Defeats Australia 116-85

August 20, 2008

The US Men’s “Redeem Team” is now just one win away from the gold medal game after defeating Australia 116-85.

From the Associated Press:

Kobe Bryant scored 25 points in his best game in Beijing, and the men’s U.S. Olympic team advanced to the semifinals by beating Australia 116-85 on Wednesday night.

The United States will play defending champion Argentina or Greece on Friday night for a spot in Sunday’s gold medal game.

Locked in what looked like another tough game with Australia, the Americans sent the Aussies’ upset hopes down under with a 14-0 burst to open the second half, featuring nine points from Bryant.

LeBron James added 16 points for the Americans, who are guaranteed a chance to play for a medal. They need two more wins for their first gold medal in a major international competition since the 2000 Sydney Games.

It appears that the US team may in fact be destined for gold. The team has not won the gold just yet but it appears imminent. The toughest challenges are ahead and there are still a few hurdles left to get past. Thoughts?

“Redeem Team” Trounces Germany 106-57

August 18, 2008

The US Men’s Basketball team sure are looking like gold medalists in 2008. The “Redeem Team” defeated Dirk Nowitzki and Germany Monday, completing an undefeated march through pool play with a 106-57 victory.

From the Associated Press:

Not since the Dream Team rumbled through Las Ramblas 16 years ago in Barcelona has a team looked this unbeatable. The Americans won their pool games by 32.2 points and averaged 103 points and now move on to a quarterfinal meeting with Australia, the only team they haven’t been able to blow out.

After the game, the team exchanged congratulations with Michael Phelps, now free to enjoy the rest of the games after winning eight gold medals in his record-setting Olympics. Bryant and Carmelo Anthony were among the U.S. players who went out to the pool to watch Phelps.

“He made history as one of the best swimmers ever, so for us to be a part of that and be here with him, we just felt good about it,” said Anthony, like Phelps a Baltimore product.

The Americans (5-0) return to the basketball arena Wednesday against Australia, the team that’s provided them with their toughest test in China.

A gold medal appears to be in the cards for the US, but I won’t be handing out the medal just yet. The Americans have had a tough time the past few years winning it all. But this team appears to be the strongest team we have had in quite some time and a gold medal seem inevitable. Thoughts?

Spanish Basketball Team Responds to Controversial Photo

August 13, 2008

By now we have all seen the derogatory picture taken of the Spanish Olympic basketball team for a Spanish courier company called Seur. The picture has been plastered across the Internet and even discussed on my site.

Now, reaction from the Spanish team is beginning to come in. Some understand that what they did can be seen as offensive while others do not understand what all the fuss is about.

From Yahoo! Sports:

“We did it because we thought it was going to be something nice, something with no problem,” Calderon told Yahoo! Sports. “But somebody wants to talk about it. It is too much of a big deal with you guys (the media) and everybody talking about that.”

Head coach Aíto García Reneses didn’t get it, either. Reneses comes from an older generation of Spanish society, one which has little time for the politically correct niceties of the modern world.

“If I go to play with a taller team and I put here (raising up on the tips of his toes) it is not an offense,” Reneses said. “I can’t understand anything more.”

But Gasol got it. He didn’t get it when the Spanish courier company persuaded the players to pose with their index fingers stretching their eyes to a thin slit at a team media day, but he sure as heck gets it now.

“Some of us didn’t feel comfortable doing it just because to me it was a little clownish for our part to be doing that,” Gasol said. “But the sponsors insisted and insisted. I think it is just a bad idea I guess to do that, but it was never intended to be offensive or racist against anybody.

“I didn’t find it very funny. I didn’t find it offensive, either. I guess some guys didn’t mind. To me I don’t want to be that way, I guess, to be doing that stuff.

I can safely say that this photo should be considered offensive and I’m not sure why anyone on the Spanish team would not understand that. I know that in this era of political correctness that sometimes we are a little over sensitive with some issues. But this is one where the team should formally apologize and make amends for their bad judgement. Thoughts?

Spanish Olympic Basketball Team Poses for Offensive Photo

August 13, 2008

How much controversy can you have in one Olympic games? Now it is the Spanish Olympic basketball team who has come under fire for an offensive team photo.

Offensive Photo in Question

Offensive Photo in Question

From The Telegraph:

Spanish sports poor reputation for insensitivity towards racial issues has been further harmed by an advertisement in which the country’s Beijing Olympic basketball teams make slit-eyed gestures.

The pictures, used in a promotion for a courier company that sponsors the Spanish Basketball Federation, took up a full page of the popular sports daily Marca. Both the men’s and women’s teams posed in separate images, striking the pose in a campaign aimed at supporting the Spanish basketball efforts in China.

Although no offense was intended by either the Spanish team, the advertisement is unlikely to be viewed kindly by the host nation or at a time when the Spanish Olympic committee is pursuing a bid to host the Games in 2016.

I believe that if the Spanish Basketball team had apologized immediately, this story would have probably gone away. But now, I’m guessing we’ve only seen the beginning of this controversy. Whoever came up with this idea should probably be looking for a new job.