Posted tagged ‘Pau Gasol’

Team USA Defeats Spain 119-82

August 17, 2008

It was not as close as many thought that it could be. The “Redeem Team” looked flawless in their match up with Spain, led by Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol.

From ESPN:

What made Saturday’s 119-82 throttling of Spain so impressive was the way the Americans did everything so extraordinarily well. They’re getting better each game, they’re improving their few weak areas and the only thing that’s scary about this 37-point beatdown is the notion that they might have peaked.

It’s up to them to prove that they haven’t, because the plane ride home is still more than a week away. But if they’re going to keep bringing it like they brought it against the reigning world champions, there’s no way they’re going to lose.

It never got close in the second half, and Jason Kidd even managed to attempt his first shot of the Olympics, a lefty layup off a feed from LeBron James on a 2-on-1 break after Dwight Howard had rejected Marc Gasol‘s shot at the other end.

James could find only one fault with Team USA’s performance, saying it had three or four unforced errors when it tried to force outlet passes to the point guards when Spain hung back on defense. But he rated this overall performance as superior to the one two nights earlier against Greece.

The victory clinched first place in Pool B for Team USA, who will complete pool play against Germany on Monday. Following that match up, they will likely face Australia in the quarterfinals and then Argentina or Lithuania in the semifinals should they get past Australia.

No matter who they play, if they play like they did today, no one will stand in their way of the treasured gold medal.

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?