Around the World (Wide Web)

Jeff Skibiski —  September 12, 2010

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From Chris Sheridan, ESPN.com: I’ve picked the Americans to win, and I’m rooting for my pick. But I also hope this one comes down to the final seconds just like the second semifinal did, because witnessing one of these one-and-done games, on the road in a country where the home team and the home crowd are united as one, is to witness international basketball at its very, very best. Be sure to remember that if you find yourself deciding whether watching the second half of a Week 1 NFL game can compare to watching Durant and the rest of Team USA try to accomplish something that hasn’t happened in 16 years, in the toughest atmosphere imaginable.

From Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports: Twenty-four hours earlier, Kevin Durant had scrunched his face, pursed his lips and played back the most arduous moments of the Los Angeles Lakers series. His accuracy stunning, his disposition downright dour, Durant ripped off a detailed list of the most minute transgressions that had cost the Oklahoma City Thunder. He had come to these world championships on a journey of self-discovery, on a rapid and resounding rise toward an MVP and an NBA championship…While LeBron James tried to decide this weekend whether he wanted to go to a college football game in the States, Durant had a decision of his own to make in the final seconds. Take an open shot for his 39th and 40th points, or drop the ball to Andre Igudoala for a dunk. Surprise, surprise: Durant flipped him the pass, Igudoala flushed the ball, and the Americans move into what promises to be a wild, raucous gold-medal game against host Turkey.

From Chris Olds, ESPN.com Page 2: But there was one thing that Robert Horry never did during his pro career — he never signed a basketball card featuring him in an NBA uniform for a trading card company. Despite all those clutch shots that helped the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs win it all — a few times — there weren’t any certified autographs (cards he was paid to sign that were then placed into packs) showing him in any of those uniforms. But all that has changed.

From Alex Kennedy, Hoopsworld: Devin Ebanks wasn’t supposed to be a second round pick. Three years ago, he was one of the top high school players in the nation and looked like a future lottery pick. He was putting up impressive numbers, dominating national tournaments and camps, and being recruited by the top college programs in the country. So how did the Los Angeles Lakers land Ebanks with the forty-third pick in this year’s draft? After two solid seasons at West Virginia, the twenty-year old forward was overlooked in a class that was loaded with wing players. Despite being one of the better athletes in the group and possessing the kind of potential not usually found in a second round selection, Ebanks sat in front of his television and watched as other players came off of the board in front of him. That’s when the defending champions finally grabbed him.

From Mike B., Bleacher Report: Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant. An NBA superstar of the past vs. an NBA superstar of today. Who’s better? Sometimes, younger fans give the nod to Bryant since they never watched Jordan play in his prime and feel that Jordan only dominated in the 1990s because the decade was watered down. On the other hand, older fans claim Jordan is the greatest hoops player ever and that Bryant isn’t even in the same galaxy because he played in a not-so-competitive era and served as a sidekick to Shaquille O’Neal for years. Fans’ opinions may differ on the subject, but everyone agrees that both players are all-time greats. So what if Jordan and Bryant swapped eras?

Jeff Skibiski

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24 responses to Around the World (Wide Web)

  1. What defense by Gordan. He pretty much ran out the 24 all by himself.

  2. I’m going to go ahead and declare Turkey the ugliest team in the history of sports. I haven’t seen every single team in history, but I’m confident in my decision.

  3. That Bleacher Report article is asinine. There’s no analysis of any sort being done. Nothing to support why the hypothesis for either scenario would be plausible. Just sheer conjecture. What lazy writing.

  4. Congratulations to USA Basketball, and to Lamar Odom, on their World Championship Gold.

    (And, um, yes, I am now moderately worried about the Robber Barons next season.)

  5. USA FIBA World Champs

  6. USA! USA! USA!

  7. Also, nice work job LO!

  8. Kevin Durant played out of his mind for 3 straight games and really carried the US home. Lamar Odom was also quietly great, coming up with several huge rebounds, offensive and defensive, as well as making great cuts to the basket and even hitting a bail-out three as the shot clock expired. Easily the 2nd best player on this USA team.

  9. I like Kevin Durant. He’s really good now. In a few more years, he could be the best player in the league.

    I also appreciate LO’s game more now. He does a lot of good things that don’t get noticed, but contribute to wins. He also seems to have a greater sense of urgency to win than he did in 2008. Maybe he’s always been that way, but to me it seems like his attitude has changed a little over the past three years, particularly after winning in 2009.

  10. The Thunder can thank Coach. Krzyzewski for unlocking Durants Killer Instinct. as a Laker fan, I think we all know now who is gonna be that player that will amaze us once Kobe is gone even if he’s not on our team. Also Great Game! and awesome props to Odom, he is definitely a winner now, a game changer for sure

  11. I have to agree with chownoir. That Bleacher Report article was utter garbage, and the comments aren’t much better either. Absolutely no balanced perspectives anywhere to be found after clicking that link.

  12. Agree with everyone – that was a very good game from Team USA. Congrats to them for winning this tournament when many picked them to come in 2nd. Their pressure defense created the needed turnovers and Kevin Durant came up huge.

    Also agree on Odom. He played a very good game today and in the “one and done” portion of the tourney, he played his game very well and contributed heavily with good activity in the half court and strong rebounding.

  13. I’m not a big fan of this incarnation of Team USA. Offensively and defensively, this was a pretty disorganized team. I found it very hard to get behind them.

    I guess I prefer a style that de-emphasizes athleticism, but given the constraints the coaches face, they can’t exactly turn these guys into Sloan’s Jazz or Thibodeau’s Celtics overnight.

  14. I look forward to “Around the World Wide Web”, so I was disappointed in the link to the Bleacher Report article. That article was mindless and callow, the worst that FB&G has ever linked to. Come on!

  15. Chownoir – Sadly the Bleacher “Report” is always like that! Very rarely will you ever find an “article” with any kind of depth or analysis. And the comments take it down another notch, which is impressive given how low the starting point is!

    Websites like BR give me an even greater appreciation of what we have here at FB&G.

  16. Wow, the Bleacher Report article had even less substance than some trolls I’ve seen in ESPN comments.

    And I’m hoping OKC gets a #2 or #3 seed this year ;)

    Don’t like them in the first round…

  17. Ya this was the first time I felt dumber after reading an article. You guys usually have great links but that bleacher report was pointless

  18. I’m not piling on, but I read that Bleacher Report article (and how couldn’t I after the comments here) and a large amount of the comments after it, and I agree that it’s particularly awful. Not that I disagree with the (flawed) conclusion (although I do), it’s that as a “what-if” scenario it fails abjectly. The author took the “they switched places” premise far too literally and put Kobe precisely into MJ’s career and vice versa as opposed to both of them entering the league as they did, instead of Kobe coming in as the high-schooler and MJ after two years of UNC and just drafted different years, but by the same teams.

    Also, the comments are really the home of some incredibly bad ideas and worse writing–a particular pet peeve of mine is the ever-more-common mistake of confusing “dominate” with “dominant”. It’s a small thing, and I can understand misspelling things, but to use a verb when you should be using an adjective makes me feel that you’re not really a deep thinker and I can safely disregard what you say.

    You know what? Now I am piling on. I urge anyone with a strong stomach for silly ideas to read the article for yourself. I’m telling you now that it’s a waste of time, but I still endorse reading it for yourself to see what we’re all complaining about.

  19. Anyone can become a ‘writer’ for Bleacher Report. Thus, don’t get too riled up over a regular Joe’s (or in this case Mike’s) opinion. Any poster here can do what he did – sign up and post an opinionated piece. I do hope that FB&G won’t link to such garbage in the future though.. I’m genuinely surprised to see a site as good as this give a link back to such a poor example of sports writing.

  20. I was only praying for Lamar to stay healthy, so I got much more than I bargained for. Considering his limited all star role years ago, it must feel especially wonderful for Lamar to go one championship up on Kobe this year. How must everyone else in the NBA be feeling when the starting center in the FIBA world championships–second only to Durant–comes off the bench for the Lakers?

  21. please dont link anything from the bleacher report again, it is the worst site ever

  22. Speaking of Kobe, I think the 81 point performance is probably the most underrated, not-talked-about achievement of our sports generation by FAR.

    Maybe it’s because it did get dissected a lot and beacuse it’s already like 4 years ago or something, but it’s funny how nobody really mentions it when talking about Kobe.

    Or maybe I’m just thinking it’s worth far more because it was THE performance that really got me started looking for sports blogs…

  23. Our morning links are up for Monday. If you’ve read The Art of War, you’ll be interested in these…

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2010/09/13/around-the-world-wide-web-celtics-edition/

  24. I want to be glad for the usa team, I really do. but I don’t. It felt like a high school varsity team beating up a 6th grade basketball league. Was there competition? Looking at the average win margin, I say no.