Gold Medal Game Time

Kurt —  August 23, 2008

Here’s my prediction — not only is the USA going to win the gold in Beijing, it will win it in London in 2012, too.

I’ll explain the second prediction first. One thing has been pretty clear in these Olympics and said by Kelly Dwyer among others — the USA is the best NBA-style team in this Olympics by a mile. It’s not a gap that other countries are going to close completely in the next four years.

And in four years (actually in two), the international game is going to look more like the NBA game.

The 3-point line will move from 20 feet, 6.1 inches to 22 feet, 1.7 inches. The NBA line is 23-9…..FIBA also will reconfigure the three-second area to match the NBA shape, going from a trapezoid to a rectangle.

FIBA is also throwing in a charge circle under the basket, as in the NBA. These rule changes favor the NBA players. For example now Dwight Howard can post deeper on the low block, and what player in the world can move him off that? All those changes will move the game toward more of an NBA style — there still will be no defensive three seconds and other key differences, but it will be more in the comfort zone of the NBA players.

Combine that with the larger three-year commitment and other things used as a structure this time around, and the USA will win the gold in London.

And they will win in Beijing too. Spain may be the most NBA-like team outside th USA in this tournament (although I expect they will break that mold some in the Gold Medal game) and as was said earlier, the USA is by far the best NBA-style team in this tournament.

Much like the Argentina game, I think for the USA to lose they would have to take the game off. Spain has a lot of talent, but not enough to withstand a focused USA team at both ends of the court. The USA has to be focused on defense and use ball pressure and stick with men at the three-point line. They have to be focused on offense and take advantage of good ball movement against a zone defense, not over-dribble and go into isolation then launch threes (Spain prefers a man-to-man but will play zone much more because Argentina had some success with it). They have to play through what will be a physical Spanish side. But they can do all that, and they have advantages. Rubio may be one of the best 17-year-old players I’ve ever seen, but he still makes 17-year-old mistakes when pressured and the USA bench should be able to run on those. The USA is a very deep team and that will wear Spain down.

As way of evidence, look at the raw +/- numbers for the Olympics and you see something interesting — no USA players in the negative. Also, whether adjusted or straight up, the two guys doing the best with plus-minus are the first two guys off the bench — Wade and Bosh. The USA brings guys off the bench that would be a team’s main weapon anywhere else.

There is no way the USA is not focused for the Gold Medal game. So there is no way they lose. And I don’t see them losing in major international play for a while now.

By the way, I’ll be up and commenting during the game (probably not a live blog, unless there is a lot of interest, but there are ones all over the Web tonight). Come by and share your thoughts.

Kurt

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75 responses to Gold Medal Game Time

  1. Kobe Vs. Pau 2- Tears of a Spaniard(coming to theaters near you).

    Now I just hope that Kobe and Pau ride their respective benches for most of the game, however unlikely. At this point I’m more concerned about injuries than I am about medals.

  2. The thing I’m most curious about is when USA takes the gold and every member of the team is standing on that podium with the star spangled banner playing, will Kobe Bryant become very emotional? He’s talked about how important and honored he is to play for the US. That might manifest itself physically for the first time. He did have goosebumps for the first time, so it may happen. I’m not saying that Kobe will not be seen as such if he doesn’t, but just curious if this may be the first time I can remember where we can really see Kobe become maybe teary eyed if he does?

  3. I am so happy that FIBA is changing its rules to be more like the NBA. Not because I like the NBA game better (which I do), but because it is stupid to have two different rule sets. The game should be standardized. Plus now the euros won’t have to make such a big adjustment to coming over here. I wonder if this means we will finally get a good foreign center now. Anyways I have one question that anyone can answer, when is the gold medal game going to be on NBC?

  4. Justin, I believe the gold medal game will be shown on NBC at 2:30pm PT. The bronze medal game will be shown at 12:00pm PT if you are interested. The best way to find coverage I find is just to go directly to NBC olympic schedule website. The fact that people, including yourself, are still trying to find out what time it is on just means NBC doing a craptacular job of informing people. I am seriously disappointed by the basketball Olympic coverage. You would think that considering how popular basketball is in the US, it would be a good idea to better inform people what time games are suppose to be on. Also, if you’re going to delay the game, it might be a good idea to delay the game all the way to night time/when people get out of work/when most normal Americans can watch. That’s just my rant.

  5. Thanks. Yeah I was having trouble finding the game because they give you the Beijing day and time. Not only is NBC doing a craptacular job of informing people, how come they have the olympics on 5 different channels (for me it is the 750s) , but 3 of them are black because they have nothing to show. How about a replay of the best events (like basketball) that might have been missed because of the weird times they come on. Seriously if you are showing the olympics on 5 channels!!! make use of them.

  6. Here’s hoping ESPN will get the Games in the future. I really can’t believe I just said that, but I did.

  7. One thing I’m wondering about is how much worse US opponents are shooting threes compared with past tournaments – I don’t have the statistics but I’m sure it would show they are shooting a much lower percentage.

    It’s beginning to seem like a pattern rather than just good luck – Team USA’s furious defense has meant that other teams shoot 3’s not out of good offensive execution, but out of desperation. And the lack of consistent open looks means they cannot establish any rhythm. Even when they ARE wide open, they almost look surprised, and promptly clank most of the shots.

  8. Yeah, the non-live “live” programming and hard to follow schedule kind of suck some of the fun out of an otherwise great event.

  9. Also, Happy Birthday Kobe! Turning the big 3-0 today! I hope the gold medal will be a nice “gift.”

  10. Personally, I plan on getting up at 5:00AM PST and turn on the NBC Basketball channel – in case they schedule the game then or at 7:15 – the times they have scheduled games in the past.

  11. Happy Birthday Kobe, three0 is a good age to win a gold medal and a championship! He for one will never forget it!

    Congrats, to the USA women for holding reign–Gold only! Thank you Lisa Leslie for anchoring the team for four straight gold medals. And passing the torch to Candace Parker and Fowles.

  12. Seeing some different game times posted here. The Kobe-Pau final will be broadcast live on NBC. LA time…11:30 (as Petros would say) TONIGHT! You can watch the bronze game while you’re waiting, live on CNBC starting at 9 PM.

  13. If the reports are true that Calderon will sit this one out, it’ll greatly diminish Spain’s chances of hanging with the US. This is the one game where he’d really be needed. First of all because he’s best equipped to handle the US’ defensive pressure (Ricky is not quite there yet, he makes too many rookie mistakes) and second of all because he is one of our (Spain’s ie) best perimiter shooters, and given how hard the US were double-teaming Pau the last time around we’d need all the shooters we can get to make them pay at least somewhat.

    That being said, even with him playing, it would of course still be a long shot. But then again, stranger things have happened;)

  14. Thanks penston, I thought that I was the only one missing the basketball games on TV because I could not figure it out. The Internet was a little easier for me to view them though, anyway you appear to be right about tonight, according to my TV schedule. 11:30 is THE game we have all been waiting for.

  15. wow… entertaining first half.

  16. Dwayne Wade has been ridiculous in this Olympics.

    Glad Kobe is getting a chance to chase around Rudy Fernandez.

  17. I concur…

    8:58 2nd Kobe – break away one handed dunk
    End of Half Pau – 2nd highest scorer for Spain

    two highlights

  18. yeah, it was confusing, but I found the yahoo sports page the best way to find the game times. and I was lucky enough to figure out the game was on tonight at 11:30…I feel bad for those who are going to get up at 5AM, I’m not sure what they’ll see.

    but anyway, this is like old times, coming to the computer to check FB&G at half time, read the comments.
    Kobe is getting beat on back door pick and rolls, seems like they did their scouting report.
    much closer and tougher than I would have guessed…this one’s pretty much a ball game.
    well, maybe it’s time for the second half to start…
    can’t wait for the pre-season, and the real season to START!

  19. Spain came to play. Even if they lose, I respect the hell out of them for being this competitive. They are whining a little too much though.

  20. During these Olympics, I have been both happy and sad that LeBron and Wade are in the East. Would love to see more of them, just not against the Lakers.

  21. I don’t know how much more of doug collins and his chicken little announcing i can stand.

  22. Oh and always, I am so glad we have Kobe. On Team USA, on the lakers, in life.

  23. I would like to reiterate the point I made above. Wow.

  24. KOBE BEAN BRYANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. What a game!!!!! I can’t wait for the season to start OMG!!!

  26. More highlights –

    4th quarter
    8:13 2pt game
    7:55 Bryant running one handed shot
    6:03 Bryant 3pt basket
    3:10 Bryant 3pt basket
    2:21 4pt game
    2:00 Dwayne 3pt basket

    I will stop here lets see what happens…

  27. Did Kobe just win MVP of the Olympics? Can they give him like, a platinum medal or something?

  28. Kobe and Pau both 2nd leading scorers on their teams, good for the Lakers I would think.

  29. That was a fantastic game. Totally worth staying up. Congrats to Spain, who played well.

  30. Blazers are VERRYYY happy that they got this Rudy Fernandez kid.

  31. a great game indeed, gotta say that pau was very impressive, and played as well and as an important role for his team as the best player on the USA, (maybe Kobe, maybe Wade, maybe james…) anyway, like the rest of us, I am really looking forward to a full season, with training camp, etc of Pau with the team, (and Andrew, trevor, etc)
    gonna be a great season fo’sure

  32. Exciting game! Spain came to play. Seriously. I’m so glad somebody posted that it was on live. Made my weekend!

  33. Watching this game just made me appreciate how absolutely crazy it is that we have Kobe AND Pau. This was the best possible way to end the Olympics. I really hope we see some Ricky Rubio in the league soon.

    Man… Kobe was meant to play in this game. He saved the day when it mattered most.

  34. When I’m watching a close Lakers game, I am always comforted we have the best player in the nba (arguably). Today, I was comforted knowing we had the best clutch player in the world, without a doubt.

  35. Thanks for posting the correct starting time. Saved a lot of grief.

    Even Doug Collins had to admit Kobe was the difference at the end tonight. Kobe may be spectactular during games, but he really earns his money near the end of close games.

    I can’t think there are happier coaches than Nate MacMillen and GMs than Jerry Colangelo.

  36. Two USA players seemed to maintain their composure when the game got close (4pts in the last 5 mins, I think) Dwayne Wade and none other than our own Kobe Bryant! They being two of the three players that have an NBA championship, Tayshaun Prince being the other, were the players that looked to score when the game mattered.

    Lebron is one heck of an athlete and basketball player, however he seems to get rattled when the pressure is on, in a tight game or an important game.

    The “Mamba” took over in the fourth as expected and he delivered. Two great assists to punch the game to a 10 pt lead.

    We can all take a sigh of relief that Kobe:
    a) Was on Team Redemption, because his finger silencing swagger gave the team a boost of confidence.
    b) He came out of these games uninjured.

    Great game though, much closer than I would have thought. USA looked tight and unable to pull away on turnovers. That being because they turned the ball over just as many times as Spain.

    One half of his accomplishments at three0 has happened, will he get the other 1/2?

    USA!! USA!! USA!!

  37. This is one loss that doesn’t feel too bad. Great game by both teams. Probably the best international game ever to be played?

  38. What an incredible game! I knew these Olympics were going to help me through these off-season months, but not like this.

  39. At least we get one championship this year…

  40. Besides Rudy Fernandez, Marc Gasol was pretty impressive IMHO. He looked tough, skilled and very coordinated, especially for a 7-footer. Hats off to the Lakers international scouting. (And the Grizzlies’) . May be a legit NBA staring (?) center. On one play, he left Chris Bosh nailed to the floor for a reverse layup and just never backed down.

  41. Great final. However, I just hope:
    a) the next time US shouldn’t need the help from the referees to win. Playing with the FIBA rules, the first thing you have to do to move with the ball is to bounce. The advantage they got by being able to take a first step is too great. And the faults under the basket not called in the first quarter are so uneven that I would be ashamed winning like this, especially having the best players in the game (almost all of them NBA franchise players).
    b) to see Bryant holding his finger to his lips to quiet the Spanish crowd has been one of the ugliest gesture I have seen in the Olympic tournament. Does he really feel so great when winning with great difficulties and referees’ help?
    c) I would like the American basketball team to pass antidoping controls as anyone else in the Olympics (I am not saying they cheat, as they clearly don’t need it, but the rules are for everyone).
    Sorry to say that, but I think we can all handle the truth of a partially undeserved win.

  42. An exciting game that made the outcome all the sweeter. Hats off to spain for competing until the very end although that reffing was horrendous throughout. The US and Spain never stopped battling and it was quite a sight to behold.

    I was most impressed with Spain’s ability to run plays off screens. They were causing all sorts of havoc with mismatches and space. They had a great game plan and almost pulled off a terrific upset. Navarro really stepped up.

    If I was putting a scouting report together on Rudy, I would tell my defenders to force him left. He’s much more efficient going to his right and he’s much better at getting to the rim going to his right. Maybe that’s easier said than done, but too many US players were getting burned, including Kobe.

    Props to the whole team for playing well and winning a gold medal. Much praise also for Redd and Boozer who did not see any meaningful playing time tonight. They never let their low minutes get them down and now they have gold medals to show for it.

  43. I hate to say, “I told you what was going to happen”, but …

    http://khandorssportsblog.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/usa-vs-spain-for-olympic-gold/

    The USA will NEED to send its VERY best players in order to win Gold Medals in Olympic Games’ men’s basketball.

    If not … the rest of the the world is quickly becoming good ‘enough’ to capture Gold or Silver should the USA slip up.

    Top flight basketball … like soccer/football … is now truly an international game … with good players and coaches scattered everywhere around the globe. :-)

  44. 41. Will, let’s break down you mistakes one-by-one. Well, some of them, I don’t have all day.

    Help from the refs? Yes, some of the calls were questionable, but that was both ways. The only thing consistent about the calls in International ball is that they are inconsistent (even by NBA standards). And, as we have said a lot on this site — If you think the refs cost you a game, it’s your fault for leaving it in the hands of the refs in the first place.

    The finger quieting thing was simply not that bad. Get over yourself.

    The biggest mistake was the drugging suggestion — these players and the NBA have no history of failing tests for performance enhancing drugs. Quick, name one guy who failed that? The perception among players (right or wrong) is that it would make you less quick and that matters more than brute strength in basketball, so nobody takes them. To suggest these guys used them is simply spite, and that’s just sad and speaks far more to you and your bias than ay truth,

  45. At 41-

    I would like to add that Kobe’s “finger quieting” wasn’t nearly as bad as the collective whining of the Spanish team through the whole game, culminating in actually throwing a towel on to the court. That was really poor sportsmanship. Kobe was sending a message to Spain: You are not winning this game.

    Also, why say “great game” and then go on to say that the US should be ashamed to have won because of all these traveling calls only you seem to have noticed?

    It was an epic battle and Spain went down fighting. Aside from their incessant whining over every single call, no matter how obvious, I thought it was a good contest.

  46. To complain, in any way, about a game like THAT … is simply ridiculous.

    Let it go … and enjoy the basketball you just saw. :-)

  47. Good thing Kobe was hot on offense because he sure quit playing defense.Defense was bad on the whole USA team this game.Made it closer than it needed to be.I’m not complaining,it was fun to watch.Go USA!!

  48. Bosh>Blog…

  49. I’m somewhat pleased Kobe and Pau are gold and silver medallists, but personally the fact that they finished the tournament without injury is real cause for celebration.

  50. It’s funny to me that everyone (not here though) seem so surprised about Navarros little patented floater. The Memphis announcers actually used to call it a “spanish layup”=)

    Besides, he already demonstrated it to the world when beating the US in the junior WC back in 99:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohYwFIhEo28

  51. Great game. I was really impressed with Spain’s performance, they showed why they were defending world champs.

    Really couldn’t have written up a better scenario for Kobe. He’d struggled some this tournament, so it was a joy to see him come through so brilliantly in the final quarter.

    And finally, I have to jeer NBC mercilessly for having Craig Sager shill for Nike & LeBron’s new shoes. Having a sideline reporter doing a sneaker commercial (complete with product placement) seconds before a gold medal tipoff? That’s one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever seen.

  52. Hey does anyone know where I can download the game? I didn’t even expect the game to be close, I really need to watch this one…

  53. 51. No offense but he played for the Grizziles…no one watches them play

  54. 41) The finger silencing to the crowd was poor sportsmanship? Wow! Stop eating the sour grapes while sipping on that “Hatorade”. As I said earlier it was a booster for team Redemption, and sometimes that’s how Kobe’s gets himself going. Spain’s crowd was getting into it and the ESP team started to believe that they could win. Everyone has seen enough American basketball to understand that that move was actually a sign of respect, because it never would have been used if the game were not close in the waning minutes.

    You find the finger silencing in poor taste, huh? Well I find the Spanish team picture with their hands holding their eyes down slanted, as one of the Ugliest Gestures in the Olympic Tournament!

    I also find that your statement regarding steroid use by the gold winning medalist team offensive!

  55. Everyone wondered if we finally got a close game that mattered, who would take the pressure shots. Well I don’t think anyone questioned who it would be on this site.

    It was great to see how Kobe came out of that timeout poised and making all the big plays down the stretch. Vintage Kobe with the runners, clutch threes and dribble-drive kick outs for some huge points in the fourth.

    I can’t wait for the season to start. A little off subject, but has anyone heard any Bynum updates? I think we will be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief on the first news that Bynum is practicing at full strength without limitations.

  56. Lakergirl: Point well taken;)

  57. Just two things:
    1) I did not say they used drugs. I just point out they haven’t gone through controls as the rest of the teams, and I am well informed about that.
    2) You don’t see the travelling because you are not used to see FIBA games.
    However, as a Spanish fan I was a bit upset after the defeat, so I apologise for the bitter comment and for having used this blog to express my frustration. I am much happier about the silver medal now. And in four years…see you again in the final!!!

  58. Man…apologies if i posted the wrong time. Glad my mom found it on tv yesterday.

    Kobe subpar to Kobe’s standard most of the Olympics. But when the going gets tough, Kobe gets going. League of clutch! Thank god for basketball in August. Can’t wait for the end of October.

  59. will: According to everything I’ve read, that’s not the case anymore. They are supposed to be tested like everyone else these days.

  60. The Dude Abides August 24, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    After watching every game USA played in this tournament plus a number of others, it’s pretty obvious that Spain shut it down against us in pool play when they got behind by 15. The real Spanish team (minus Calderon!) showed up in the gold medal game. I believe that this Spanish team would have beaten the American gold medalists in 2000 and the Argentine gold medalists in 2004.

    This was truly the highest quality Olympic basketball game I’ve ever seen (I’ve watched most of them since 1972). Sure, the FIBA referees haven’t progressed since 1992 nearly as much as the quality of international play, but this game was still memorable. I think the next step should be to improve the quality of the officiating. BOTH teams were justified in their complaints.

    Anyway, congrats to our guys. They really personified the true Olympic spirit this Olympics. The most gratifying thing to me outside of the USA winning and Kobe and Pau not getting hurt, was seeing the re-emergence of Dwyane Wade. I wondered why he was even included on the team, as he was lousy in the 2006 Worlds and was recovering from injury. Man, it was great being proved wrong. The four best players on our side this tournament were Kobe, Bosh, Wade, and LeBron. Wade was EVERYWHERE.

  61. Do any of you realize/remember the opening Lakers game is against Blazers? Kobe vs. Rudy rematch! I seriously cannot wait…

    Come on October 28th…

  62. I really enjoyed that game. Especially the prolonged periods of nervous time. And Wade going crazy again. Navarro’s amazing floaters. The unleashing of the Mamba. But my favorite part of the broadcast was Kobe singing the national anthem in full voice. Through a smile of pure joy.

  63. what a nancy blog…

    Bosh owns you…

  64. I really liked the way the bench cheered..they were so giddy. At one point Bosh was yelling as loud as he could and Anthony was on his knees when Kobe was shooting free throws. It almost felt like an NCAA championship game. There was no feeling of cockiness, just sincere joy….

    Rudy’s dunk over Howard was sick!!. Rubio dribbling past Kidd and scoring on that nifty layup was nice…Spain played a great game. But the better/deeper team won..

  65. 41/57

    I am sure you are well versed, but the us team was randomly tested like all other olympic athletes

    Complaining about traveling but ignoring the blatant use of moving screens or the massive leeway in running on the court/complaining on the part of spain? You can pick out any part of this game if you want, but both teams were playing with same subpar refs. This is an absolutely deserved win against a very good team

  66. Why do you guys all want to jock the USA basketball so hard? It is like rooting for the bad guys in a movie. Spain had a seventeen year old point guard starting against the best players in the world, sorry there needs to be some reformation to make this competitive the current system is crap. We dont send pros to box, or major leagurs to play baseball, and you know what we dont win every olympics in every sport and THAT IS A GOOD THING. We invented it, so what. We should want the whole world to enjoy the game, and meanwhile the US players could learn that heart, fundamentals and having a little class on the court are good things.

    If the Lakers win the Championship every year I would stop caring about basketball. The US softball team won every olympics by a landslide and got the sport kicked out, and then proceeded to lose their dominance. The Olympics is not suppossed viewed correctly in America the greatest stories arent the people who are suppossed to win winning, its about sportsmanship, exchanging of cultures, passions and overachieving. The US basketball thing with pros was only added because of the cold war B.S. there is no more USSR and no damn need to keep sending pros, especially ones that embarrass themselves and are nation by acting like thugs and morons. It was good to see the fans turn on them.Kobe was an embarrasment as a Laker fan he is so fake, and I wish Pau had punched him in the ear.

  67. 66. First off, I think that the pseudo amateurism that passes as the Olympic “ideal” has been bastardized by many countries in many sports for many years. For me, the Olympics are about the best athletes from around the world competing at their peak. That means the very best basketball players from around the world, just as with the very best sprinters, best tennis players, best volleyball players, and so on. So what if they are able to get paid to play a sport? This is about the best representing their nations.

    Also, as to why we back USA basketball (well, except for the couple of Europeans who are regulars here): We are basketball fans. We are Americans. We wanted to see good basketball and see our country win. What did you expect?

  68. I found this quote and thought that I would share it:

    “I think they took this tournament very seriously, they were very hungry. They gave a better feeling of a team; it wasn’t so much individual stuff, individual talent.”
    – Pau Gasol

  69. 66-

    Most of the teams had NBA players on their rosters. Basketball is more popular here than a lot of the world and that means that more talent is cultivated here. That is changing and it is already leaps and bounds more competitive than the Dream Team days. Also, I don’t know if we were watching different games, but I thought Spain was very competitive.

    I don’t even understand your complaints about Kobe. From what I could see, he was one of the more accessible stars on the team. Your assumption that he was “fake” is based purely on the same vindictive agenda you had in your post.

    I personally loved it when he hushed everyone after his 4 point play. Spain had been bitching the entire game and throwing towels out onto the court. They were being extremely poor sportsman, and they needed to be brought back down to Earth.

  70. This is a completely random observation, and one made because we don’t get to watch him play all that much, but Chris Bosh is awesome. He was active, showed a great touch, and really brought it every second he was on the court.

    If Jermaine O’Neal comes to camp healthy, Toronto is going to be very tough in the East.

    The biggest thing I take from these games is an increased passion for the game of basketball. I thank the Chinese for putting on a great game, the NBA for helping to make basketball a global game, and Team USA for playing with such passion and unbridled joy that made me proud to be an American and root for my guys.

    Can’t wait for the Lakers season to start!!!

  71. congrats,it was an incredible game…but talking about traveling…they were traveling,dwight howard lived under the spanish basket (did the referees forget what 3 seconds violation is?and what about defending with the hands??…well anyway,i think usa would have won anyway but what a final…
    thanks to both teams spain played like what they are:the reigning world champs and us team deserves the title…just the best match i have seen in many years

  72. 66

    I totally agree with Kurt – it seems like your analysis relies on just the USA not sending nba players (because NO country sends pro boxers or mlb players – in fact, that is why they got rid of baseball, because it is not a representation of the best in the world).

    In any case, Kobe was apparently the most popular non-chinese athelete in the games, so why take that away? It seems like the analysis relies on old stereotypes of US basketball, something this team did not have.

    Did you watch Sarunas Jasikevicius bark and glare at his team? Or lInas Kleza nodding his head when hit the dagger against Argetina? Or the Spanish team throw a towel on the court in the gold medal game (or even the Spanish team’s ad?) If the US team had done any of those things they would have been lambasted constantly.

    This US team had genuine enthusiasm and not a single player complaining about playing time (It was awesome to see Redd and Boozer cheering so much). I actually thought they came together as a team, and that was amazing to watch. And it helped they played a legitimately good team – and let me poin out, Spain had significantly more NBA players than any other country, and since their only two losses came to the US, you can make the case that the gap between Spain and the rest of the world was as significant as the US and the rest of the world (and I don’t think that is a very large gap, imho), but that won’t lead to nearly as much vitriol.

  73. It brought a smile to my face when NBC played their old basketball theme when going to a commerical break. Reminded me of the 90s.