Basketball, Beijing Olympics, NBA, Sports

Game Set And Match ………….


Well  it’s all over  and   done   with  .   With  what  USA  Basketball    had  set   out  to   achieve   they’ve  accomplished  with  great  aplomb.  In  defeating   Spain  to win  the  gold  medal   at   the Olympic   games.   Team   USA  did  a  great  deal   to  resurrect   the  integrity   that’d  been  lost  after   their  abysmal  showing   at  the  World  Championships   in  2006 .   And  then   offcourse   there  was   the   even  more  embarrassing   debacle  of  the   2004  Olympics  in  Athens,  Greece.

Juan  Carlos  Navarro  of   Spain  contests  a  ball   with   the  US’s    Chris  Paul    during   the  men’s  finals  of   the  Olympic   basketball    tournament.  The  United  States   defeated  Spain  118-107  in  the  finals.   picture  appears   courtesy  of  afp/getty  images/Filippo  Monteforte  ……….

Under  the  auspicies   of   managing   director  of  USA  Basketball Chief Executive  Jerry Colangelo, the  coaching  staff  of   Mike  KrzyzewskiNate  McMillan  Mike  D’Antoni and   Jim  Boeheim .    They’ve   restored   the national   pride   in   the   game   and   even   more  so   internationally.  And   nowhere  was  this   more  self   evident   than  in  the  applause  and   support   shown   to  them   by  their   hosts  in  China  and   the  fans  also.     The   gold   medal  matchup   against   the   current   world  champions   Spain  had   all   of  enticing   fervor  that  one  could’ve   expected.  

Dwight  Howard (c)  of  the  United  States  shows  his  defensive  prowess   in  facing   Spains  Rudy Fernandez  in  the  men’s basketball   finals  of  the  Olympic   games .  picture  appears  courtesy  of afp/getty  images/Thomas  Coex   …………….

After  going   through  the  preliminary  rounds  of   group   tournament play   and  the  elimination rounds.    This  final’s   matchup   lived  up  to  and  met    everyone’s  expectations.   The  thinking  was   the   team  hadn’t  been  tested  by   their    earlier   opponents.    And   if  it  was   indicative   by  the   average  margin  of  victory, of  34  points.    It  was  clear   that   Spain  hadn’t   read   the  script.  It  wasn’t   their   intention  of   making  this  final  walkover  for  the  Americans.    The  athleticism   that   the  US  brought  along   with   their   high   power  offensive  prowess  would   have   to  be  negated   by   cerebral  play  offered   by   Spain.  

Dwayne  Wade  of   team  USA   dishes  an  assist   as   Spain’s   Alex  Mumbru tries to  defend  the  play  during    the  men’s  Olympic  basketball   finals.     picture  appears   courtesy  of  afp/getty images/ Thomas  Coex  …………….

A   team  that  was   made of  up   of   some   of   the   NBA’s   top  stars   left   their   egos  at  the  door  and   bought   into   the   teachings  of  Krzyzewski .  They   played  as   a  team  and  carried   themselves  professionally  on  and   off   the  court   throughout   their  run  in  the  tournament.  And  in  this   respect   both   Kobe   Bryant  and   Lebron  James   are   to  be   commended   upon   that   as   co-team  captains.    A   blend    of   age  ,  youth  , the   veteran  and  calming   influence of Jason  Kidd   went   a  long   way   in  creating   much  of   the   success   that   we’ve  all   witnessed  at  these   games.   And    it   to   bode   well   for   the   future   concerning   the   ambitions   team  USA   basketball   internationally.     The   2010    World   Championships  and   then  the  Olympics   of   London  2012  will  most  certainly  be  on  everyone’s   lips.  If  nothing   else  the   younger    players   on  the   team’s   roster  will   have   had   their   appetites    as  to   what  the   game   will  bring   for  them  internationally.

Kobe  Bryant (10)   of   team  USA  drives  to   the   basket  evading   the   defensive   play  of   Spain’s   Rudy  Fernandez.  picture  appears  courtesy  of   nbae/getty  images/ Garrett  Ellwood  ……………

The  game   itself  was  close  in   certain  aspects   but   team   USA   showed   why  it  was   that  they  were  the   presumptive  favorites     for   the   tournament.   They  stamped   their   authority  on  this   game   down  the  final stretches  of   it, leaving   no  one   in  any  doubt  as  to  what   had  been   their   overall   intent   from  the  outset.   That  was   to   win  big, restore pride  and  respect  for  the  US’s  game  domestically  as  well  as   internationally.   And   in  achieving   this  success   it  can  be  said    that they’ve   accomplished   that.    Kobe   Bryant   excelled   and   showed   why  it  was  that  he   was  seen  as   the  tournament’s   best  player.   He  led  by  example  and  his   teammates followed   willingly.   With  no   disrespect  to  Paul  Pierce  whose  claim   that  he’s  the  best  player on  the  planet.  If  that’s  the  case   then   Bryant  would  rules   the  universe  and   beyond.  But  then  again  Pierce’s  world   may  well  just  encapsulate  what  he  sees  when  stares  at  himself   in  the   mirror.

Carmelo  Anthony  of  team   USA  scores   from  a  layup   whilst   his  teammate   Kobe  Bryant  looks  on.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  afp/getty images/Dusan  Vranic  ………..

 The  118-107    though   a  much  smaller  margin  of  victory   on  appearance   went   a  long   way  in suggesting    that   at   times   the   game    was   very   competitive.  Dwayne  Wade  scored  27 pts, along  with   contributions   from   Byant  20 pts  and  James  14 pts, bore   the   brunt  of   providing  the  team’s   scoring.    But   there   also   some   solid   contributions  from  Chris  Paul  14 pts and  Carmelo  Anthony  13 pts.    Defensively   at  times   the   team   was  stretched   by   the  play  of   the  Spanish.    They   were   led   with   some   authority    by   Rudy   Fernandez   22 pts,  Pau  Gasol  21 pts  and    Juan  Carlos  Navarro   18  pts.    But   in  the   end   there   wasn’t   much   that    Spain    could    do    once   team   stamped    their    authority   on  the   game.  

Pau  Gasol  of  Spain    sees   the   finality  of  it  all   the  result   suggests   the   inevitability  of   it  all.   picture   appears  courtesy  of  afp/photo/Filippo  Monteforte  ………………….

In   affixing   the   label   Team  Redemption   to   this   roster   of  players    placed   a  burden  of   added   pressure   that   certainly  wasn’t   justified.   If  anything    the   malaise   of    former   teams  that   had  borne   and   were   entrusted   in  representing   the  country   did   themselves   a   great  disservice  by   way  of   their  errant   play.   One   could   well    understand   the   complacency  that’d  set  in.    As   many of   the  players   in   question   who’d   represented    team  USA  were  of   the  belief   that   before   setting   foot  on   the  court    their    opponents   would   feel   intimidated.    As  evidenced  by  those  results  their  belief    was  a   misguided   one.

Teammates  Chris  Bosh , LeBron  James and   Kobe  Bryant   in  the  background   celebrate  their   defeat  of   Spain  the  men’s   Olympic   basketball  finals.  The  victory   meant   that  team  USA  had  secured    the  country’s   first  gold   medal   in  the  event   since  their   win in  Brisbane ,  Australia , in  2000.  picture   appears courtesy  of    afp/getty  images/  Filippo  Monteforte  ………

 That    fall from  grace  led   to  the  insistence  of    team  USA  Chief  Executive  Jerry   Colangelo   that   there    had   to   be  a   long   term  commitment    in   resuming    the  prestige  and   reputation   internationally   of  the  team  and  its  basketball   pedigree .   The   players    bought  into   the  idea   of    his   commitment   to  the   team   for   three   years.      The   training   and    playing   together    against   teams   domestically  as  well    as  international  teams    went  a   long   way   in   justifying      Colangelo’s   dream.    And   that   has    certainly  manifested    itself   with    this   team  winning    the    gold   medal.   The   sense    of  foreboding     now    has   been   replaced   with    a   great  deal  of   pride  and   joy.   And   with   the   women’s    making    this   a  clean   sweep   in   terms   of   team play   by   winning   their   fourth   consecutive   gold   medal   at  the   Olympics.    It  can  be  said   the   the   teams   have   acquitted   themselves   well. 

They   took  on  and   defeated    the  very  best    that   the  world    had  to   offer  with   a  great  deal of  ease   and   at  the  same    time   conducted   themselves   with   dignity  and   grace.

 

abritishman ……………………………..

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6 thoughts on “Game Set And Match ………….

  1. Travis Outlaw
    They were good enough to win and they showed with their athleticism and allround prowess. They were too good for the majority of the opposition. It wasn’t until the finals that they were to some extent challenged.
    Bryant solidified his position as the game’s premier player on the planet. As for Pierce’s assumption that he’s the best player on the planet. I think that he’s been living on another planet for making those claims.

    abritishman ………..

  2. We agree with you that Team USA ‘took on and defeated the very best that the world had to offer with a great deal of ease and at the same time conducted themselves with dignity and grace”.

    We were happy to see Kobe Bryant had an especially long embrace for Gasol, patting his Los Angeles Lakers teammate on the back.

    We were wondering what they had to say to each other?

    Maybe good job?
    See you in LA?

  3. Tiff
    Bryant to my mind was the player of the tournament and solidified himself as the best player in the world.
    And that includes the asinine claims of the Celtics’ Paul Pierce.

    For good measure the women was also dominant in their tournament win.

    I also think both James and Wade had excellent tournaments.

    It all bodes well for London in 2012.

    abritishman …………….

  4. Well Paul Pierce did beat Lebron James Cavs, Kobes Lakers. And won a NBA championship and Finals MVP. So thats probably why he declared himself the best player in the world.

    The US basketball should have beaten the Spain team by 30 or more points. Look how many all-stars are on the US team. And only one on the Spain team Pau Gasol. Yet Spain almost beat the US. The competition around the world is closing in on the US. And in 2012 and future olympics games the US might not win anymore.

  5. Travis’
    Pierce is showing his immaturity just winning an ring and MVP doens’t legitimize anything.
    He’s never been a leader and were it not for his stats . That’s all one would consider nothing more than an above average player.

    As to the US’s win , not every victory will be beatdown. As evidenced in these men’s finals. All Stars being what they are well how do you equate the fact that this was their first victory in a major championship in eight years ?
    It’s obvious you’ve bought into the hokum about superiority. It’s about maintaining the consistency and having the right roster of players to get the job done.

    Also the US would never have one this outright were it not for the planning of Jerry Colangelo. He’s the architect of this and with Krzyzewski, McMillan, D’Antoni and Boeheim brought in as the coaching staff. And that was the building blocks to get things started along with the three year commitment Colangelo desired from the players.

    In 2012 things may well be different but at least we’ll know that they’re back on the right track.
    We’ve seen the consistency maintained by the women and that’s the road that the men are now going down.

    abritishman ……………

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