TEAM USA wins the Gold in Beijing!
Awesome wrap-up of the game and the tournament from Britt Robson at the Rake. He’s one of the best basketball writers today.
Two excerpts from the column, but make sure you read the whole thing at the Rake:
“Comparisons to Michael Jordan have become hackneyed, not to mention unfair, for NBA players over the past decade–it is like anointing a singer-songwriter the next Dylan or a reggae artist the next Marley. But there is one trait Kobe possesses that involuntarily brings up memories of MJ–an almost maniacal need to be the straw that stirs the drink when the game is on the line. There are other sublime clutch shooters–Manu Ginobili comes to mind. But Ginobili–or Robert Horry, or even LeBron James–won’t engage in a bloodthirsty fight to seize the right to be either hero or goat.”
“The best player of this Olympics for the USA was clearly LeBron, who did everything as a Superglue guy. LeBron’s foul trouble early in the game created a horrible defensive tone for USA, because, as commentator Doug Collins (who had an excellent Olympics himself) pointed out, the weakside help on the Spanish bigs simply wasn’t large or fast enough to deter them the way only LeBron could. Down the stretch, LeBron played with four fouls while battling the water buffalo Marc Gasol for position in the paint. This was far from his best game, but when you gleaned the stat sheet, there he was, with 14 points on 6-9 FG (2-3 3pt, 0-2 FT), 6 rebounds (second to Chris Bosh’s 7), and three apiece in assists, steals and turnovers. Looking back on their rookie years, does anyone else recall how much Charles Barkley and others were touting LeBron and Melo Anthony as equals?”