Excuses Excuses
August 27, 2008

I hate people who make excuses.  Now we’re hearing them from a couple of guys who felt the need to make them after the US won gold in Beijing.

First up:  Larry Brown explaining why HIS team didn’t win gold.

“The thing is they got guys that are willing to make a three-year commitment, which I think is tremendous,” Brown said of this current Team USA. “We had guys that committed (for 2004) and then all of a sudden 9/11 happened, and then there were injuries.”

Here’s a thought.  Maybe everyone involved gave a half-assed effort.  That seems much more likely

Next:  Jose Calderon explaining why Spain would have won… if only….

“This is not the time to speak of officiating, but I think with the FIBA rules we would have won. That is why we are a little annoyed, because we were right there at the finish line and we have just missed out.”

Why Jose… did you guys get a different set of rules before the tournament?  The rules seem to suit you fine on your way to the gold medal game.  Ya got beat.  Live with it.  Don’t you have any other races or an ethnicity to openly mock?

Idiots… the both of them.

Well… That’s Over. Now What?
August 24, 2008

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

This one wasn’t easy, but the US got the job done… beating Spain 118-107 to win the gold medal.  DWade had 27, Kobe had 20.  Spain had the game to 4 with a few minutes left.  But the US held on… and now we’re out of actual basketball to talk about.  For the next month or so… it’s going to be a lot of me and Chuck looking at the Celtics roster and asking “what if…. ?”

As in… What if Darius Miles looks REALLY good in the preseason… will Kevin Pritchard hire a sniper to take him out? 

And how the hell is that roster going to shake out anyway?  We know Ray, KG, Paul, Rondo and Perk are starting.  We know House and Tony Allen will get minutes on the perimeter.  We know Glen Davis/Leon Powe will get some run down low… presumably along with Patrick O’Bryant.  That’s 5 guys.  We can’t be going 10 deep on a daily basis… and we haven’t even considered the “Posey” role yet.  And we haven’t mentioned JR Giddens yet.  

As for Miles, Marc Spears asks today if he has any mileage left.  Scott Souza writes about Eddie House being happy with how things worked out.  And here’s Leon Powe teaching kids to play ball… and presumably… how to kill someone with a simple, icy glare.

One last thing I learned at the Olympics:  I still dig Sue Bird.  Maybe I’m just drawn to anyone named Bird who’s really good at basketball.  Hey… don’t judge me.

One Mo’ to Go
August 22, 2008

Getty Images

Courtesy: Getty Images

Team USA is on the verge of its first Olympic Gold Medal in 8 years, thanks to their 101-81 victory over Argentina. Popovich and Duncan must have been thrilled watch Manu Ginobli re-injure his ankle. Up next: The Spaniards – a team we annihilated by 37 points. Should these guys gag on Sunday, the Golden State Examiner has a suggestion for future Olympiads: Send the champs.

Team USA has been working out all summer … for what? To figure out offensive pecking orders, defensive schemes, overall strategy, etc. But if you sent the NBA champions - the Boston Celtics, this year - all that would automatically take care of itself.  Yeah, it stinks that they’d have to practice a couple of times a week in June and July of your championship season, but then again, it was nice for everybody on the squad to get that $2 million Olympic bonus written into the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.

Kinda makes sense if you ask me. They could take several weeks off after the finals and then regroup two weeks before the games start.

Precious Olympic Moments
August 21, 2008

"You had me at ni hao"

The Olympics provide so many special moments… I… I just can’t control my emotions right now.

So Special.

Now’s The Time In Beijing When We Dance
August 18, 2008

"A 50 point win?  I'm as happy as a little girl"

"A 50 point win? I'm as happy as a little girl."

Yes, I’m going for the gold today in mildly obscure German pop culture references which highlight my advanced age.  Why?  Because I’m desperately holding on to lost youth as I face my impending mortality… and because I need to do something to make a 106-57 thrashing of Deutschland interesting. 

Dwight Howard had 22 and 10.  LeBron had 18… but no assists.  Coming into the game, he led the tournament in assists. 

Next up, Australia… and thanks to the big ‘Crocodile Dundee’ craze of the 80′s… I’ve got a ton more unfunny references to make. 

Yeah, you’re welcome.

This Guy’s Alright
August 16, 2008

I hope this guy makes something of himself

I hope this guy makes something of himself

So Michael Phelps won his 8th gold medal tonight.  And he did it in front of Kobe Bryant, who was in the stands.  Which means Kobe sat down and watched yet another domination and coronation.

There, I tied a swimming post to the Celtics championship.  That’s got to be worth a medal, right?

Seriously… Phelps is one of the most ridiculous athletes in history.  If you didn’t take a minute to enjoy it… then you lose.  You were alive for the most dominating athletic performance ever… and you missed it.  This might never be matched.

So Easy, Marc Gasol Can Do It
August 16, 2008

AFP/Getty Images

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The commercialization of the Olympics simply must stop.  I get that Geico is sponsoring the coverage… to put the Geico Caveman on the Spanish National Team is going too far. 

Seriously now… I don’t get how a team that features this doofus, Pau Gasoft, and a 17-year-old is regarded as the most serious threat to the US.  Team Red, White and Blue smoked the Spaniards 119-82 in a game that saw the US regain is outside shooting stroke (12-25 3pt fg). 

LeBron was the man again.  He had 18 while DWade and Carmelo Anthony had 16 each.  The Wade we see here is the Wade that is going to tear up the NBA in the first half of the season.  He’s sick. 

One last note:  Jason Kidd finally took his first shot attempt in the Olympics (a made lay up).  I don’t know if he has even played 10 minutes a game.  Yet… he starts and then gives way to Chris Paul.  Why is he even there?

We Got Your Back China
August 16, 2008

Americans are always there to save the day. A tsunami strikes? We’ll ship supplies and lots of cash. An evil dictator needs to be overthrown? We’ll invade the country on a whim. The Spanish Olympic team makes a disgusting ethnic reference to the host country? Kobe, LeBron and D-Wade will swoop in, kick some Gasol ass and save the day. I’m looking forward to this morning’s matchup, even though there’s no way Team USA could lose to a bunch of cryin’ Spaniards.

In NBA news, Hornets backup guard Jannero Pargo is taking his skills to Moscow. And we’ve learned the Celtics did make an offer to Michael Finley, but he’s staying with the Spurs.

I’m feeling bad about the shots I took at Spain in this post. There is one thing I love from Spain. Check it out after the jump.

(more…)

Take Your Souvlaki, Your Olives, And Your Feta… And Go Home
August 14, 2008

The first quarter  of this game was a little closer than people expected. Then Dwyane Wade came in… and made plays like that one.  How someone throws a perfect alley-oop while running full speed to track down a ball going out of bounds is beyond me.  But he did it… and everything else, too.  Between Flash doing it all offensively and LeBron James coming up with, I think, 194 blocked shots… Team USA made the Greeks look really, really bad.  Like 92-69 bad

Kobe and Chris Bosh had 19 each to lead the US.

They still had problems from 3 (7-20 shooting), but it I guess when you’re getting nothing but layups and dunks all night… banging 3′s isn’t necessary.  However… it would be nice for them to start making some of these so called “easier” 3 pointers.

(Video Via Awful Announcing)

This Could Get Ugly
August 14, 2008

One of the problems with Team USA over the years has been their blase’ attitude… even when they were getting beat.  They were just way too cocky for their own good.

Not this team… at least… not for this game.  They’re actually fired up for Greece.  These guys want to win… bad… to get revenge for that 2006 lost in the World Championships. 

“We’ve had to live for two years with people saying we can’t defend or we can’t do this,” Krzyzewski said. “And in that game, we learned the finality of what it is if you’re not at your best. And there’s an atonement for that, it’s like a cleansing, and as far as our pursuit of the gold medal, that’s part of the process.”

Translation:  We’ve got to smoke these Greeks if we’re going to make things right.  I’m afraid they’re going to do it too.  Tip off is just minutes away… but I think this is really the “Redeem Team’s” first game.

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