Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thoughts From The Olympic Hoops

This is for you DJ Leon Smith!

The world of basketball is back to normal with the USA winning both the men (boxscore)and the women (boxscore).

Why I say this is, the state of basketball is better off when the rest of the world is trying to hunt down the USA.

All countries can go home now and figure out how they are going to beat the might of the Red, White and Blue in London. Everyone thought playing zone would help but it didn't. Hired gun Michael Redd sat and watched more than he played so that theory went out the door, fast.

What the USA did better in China than in Athens was team selection. They put together a backcourt that could compete with the rest of the world.

First, Jason Kidd replaced Stephon Marbury. A no brainer for even the most loyal Marbury fan. Kidd is team first, second and third, while Marbury, well I'm not sure what is first for this guy! Just a little stat, Kidd has never lost in national team colours.

Lebron James and Kobe Bryant patrolled the wings. KoBron as this pairing is known as now are the best in the world at their positions. Certainly an upgrade from second tier players in Richard Jefferson and Shawn Marion.

To go along with this combo you throw in Chris Paul, Deron Williams and a very healthy Dwayne Wade and the USA have different looks they can throw at any opposition.

Upfront they had Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh. Anthony is the guy that stretched the defense so LeBron and whoever else could penetrate. Howard and Bosh were there to finish around the rim, rebound and block shots. They did that.

So, the Redeem Team did their job and Jerry Colangelo and Coach K ride off into the sunset having done their job.

What will 2012 bring from the USA because they have the rest of the world gunning for them once again?

My View

- Dwayne Wade must have the Miami Heat fans looking forward to this season. Wade was back to his slashing best and looks totally recovered from his numerous injuries.

- Kobe Bryant is clutch.

- Chris Bosh has won my total respect. We do not get many Raptor games Down Under (might change now with Nathan Jawai there) so I only see the monster numbers he puts up. What impressed me most was in the game against Greece he switched onto guards that tried to break him down from the top in an isolation situation. Bosh created two steals that lead to easy baskets for his team. Gotta love a big man that does that.

- I want to be the organizer of a one on one contest between Aussie buzzsaw Pat Mills and Spanish teenage whiz Ricky Rubio. We'll play the game in the Philippines. Their fans are crazy for basketball and it's a neutral site.

- Rudy Fernandez must have Portland Trailblazer fans excited. Can he and Brandon Roy co-exist?

- Argentina's Fabrico Oberto may be the best international role player in the NBA. I believe many international players are heading back to Europe because they are not comfortable with their role. Sure money has to do with it a little, but don't you want to play against the best? These players can always end their careers back home.

- New Jersey Net and Chinese national team player Yi Jianlian is not there yet. Nets fans must be hoping the highly skillful forward might have got a wake up call in Beijing. His oncourt demeanour says "I'm the man", but the Olympics said "grow up young man".

- Greece did not have the same MOJO going as they did at the World Championships in 2006. I feel they missed centre Lazaros Papadopoulos.

- Has Chris Kaman handed back his German passport yet? If he has, will his father talk to him, now.

- Lithuania should get fast tracked to the bronze medal game at Olympic Games. The last five Olympics have seen them play off for the bronze. In 1992,1996 and 2000 they captured the medal. Not so lucky in 2004 and 2008.

NBL 1992 Grand Final - yes basketball was once supported like this.


DJ Leon Smith said...

BOOOOOOOOO KOBE! Still not a fan.

John Rillie said...

get over it. a little respect for his late game skills?

Anton said...

What'll it take for people to love Bryant like they should? Kobe saving babies from pits of fire whilst simultaneously shooting 23-28 in game seven of the finals?

PS Didn't know you were blogger, Rillie. But I'm glad you are.

DJ Leon Smith said...

Kobe still threw up too many ridiculous shots during the Olympics, LeBron, Wade, CP3 (when he wasn't guarding Pat Mills... ), etc, made him look second rate. Plus his defence is ridiculously overrated. PLUS he's given himself two nicknames (Mamba and the Doberman) - nicknames don't count if you give them to yourself.

(Yes I'm a Kobe hater.)

Glockers said...

Kobe should be respected for his sheer talent and also how he has carried himself in this Olympic campaign. His finals series also showed maturity. He isn't exactly an old man and some of his earlier behaviour could be put down to immaturity. I just read The Jordan Rules. It seems until Jordan was 30 he didn't exactly conduct himself that well.

Anonymous said...

Kobe is great. He was big time clutch & between he & Wade came up big when the game got tight. Now I hope he shags an Opal in the olympic village & the kid is born in Aus.

DJ Rod said...

I own a copy of the Jordan Rules and I am pretty sure I bought it from the FICTION Section!

Have you ever heard any of the players from jordan's 6 championship teams complain???

Kobe is a joke, with 'some' game. He might have been clutch at the Olympics, but where was he in the NBA Finals?

There are 5 better players than him in the NBA and about 10 internationally!

Anonymous said...

Re: Boomer's next coach poll.

Maybe the Boomers should borrow an idea from the Socceroos and hire a successful euro coach?

Aussie Gus had success in the FIFA WC and was fresh from coaching in Asia.

Pepu Hernandez won a FIBA WC with Spain and Jonas Kazlauskas has had two Olympic campaigns with China.

Any thoughts on those two besides if BA has the cash to even consider them?

Glockers said...

The Jordan Rules isn't fiction. It is written by the writer who covered the chicago bulls that whole season Sam Smith, who is known as one of the best sprots writers in America.

I dislike Kobe, but I think alot of his act comes down to immaturity. Watch some of Jordan's behaviour in the 80s. the guy liek kobe was exceptionally talented but took a long time to grow up and realise how to use his team-mates and play to win.

DJ Rod said...

you need to know the story behind why Sam Smith wrote that book.

Sam covered the team and Jordan was not happy with some of the things he wrote about him and refused to talk to him for 18months.

Imagine covering the Bulls and having no quotes to report on from Michael Jordan!!!

So he fabricated the whole lot to make Jordan look bad in the media!

Ever heard a saying, "never judge a book by its cover?"

Cliffy said...

Really appreciate the shout-out you gave the Philippines. :) We love basketball here in this country and we'd definitely be the perfect audience to watch such a game.
I'm really enamored with Ricky Rubio myself and I believe that he's ready for the NBA, I mean, no amount of US college ball can compare to an Olympic experience when it comes to helping players become NBA ready.

John Rillie said...


There is something to be said to having an overseas coach on the bench.

I believe there may be a little merit in having a good Euro coach on the bench, purely for scouting.

To advance to the medal round we will need to beat a good team from Europe so having someone that knows most of the players would be a help.

Somehow I don't think that BA's funds will allow for this to happen.

BA needs to make this happen if they want to get serious about acheiving a medal with the men.