Watching the USA Men's Basketball Play against Spain in the gold medal game was a highly anticipated event in my house.At the peak of my excitement, the game finally tipped off, and the game was on, the game of the year, easily.
But the longer I sat and watched the game, the more respect I lost for the American team. You had Carmelo Anthony having to be told by an assistant coach to shut up for mouthing off from the bench. You had Dwight Howard who can't hit a free throw to save his life, and goes and throws his towel and a clipboard down during the next time out. You have Dwyane Wade whining for a foul as the first half ended, refusing to leave the court even though the replay showed there was no contact, and Wade had the nerve to shove the Spain defender after the halftime buzzer sounded. You had a team that when their shots weren't falling, they had to resort to pleading and begging for fouls to be called. You had Carmelo hit his hand on the bottom of the backboard, and go out of the game with a stinger on his finger.
On the other side of the court, you have a team that was all heart, Pau Gasol, who I usually hate, and who usually whines and flops more than anybody I know, getting hit in the eye by Dwight Howard, and instead of complaining to get a foul called, he let his play speak. Rudy Hernandez was getting slapped plenty of times while USA defenders tried to reach in, and all he did was cross a few more times and drain a fade away three right in their eye. You had the Americans flopping and crying for fouls like the Europeans... Spain wasn't even flopping and crying, and THEY ARE EUROPEANS!
Their players represented what I love about basketball, and it surprised me, because I didn't really like them when the game tipped off. They did exactly what they had to do to keep the game close, and when things weren't going their way, they just played harder, not more erratically and immature. I tuned into the game expecting to see USA prove their dominance in the Mens Basketball world once again, and what I saw, was a team that could not compare to the Spanish National Team in terms of class, and heart. Class! This is the same team that came out with a picture mocking the Chinese and their slanted eyes...
Kudos to Spain, although, perhaps you should start flopping more next Olympics... It worked for 'us'.
(On a side note, Rudy Fernandez is going to be an absolute monster in the NBA. Give him a bit of time, because when he gets into his game, he was outshining Kobe, Lebron & Wade)