Explain this one to me: The Olympics organizers probably gave away $300,000 of revenue per basketball session by not having courtside seats, and yet they scheduled Friday’s men’s basketball semifinals so that
A. Spain and Russia played at 5 p.m. London time as the "early" game.
B. Everyone in the stadium then had to leave.
C. They cleaned the stadium.
D. America and Argentina played the "night" game at 9 p.m. for a new crowd.
Sounds super greedy, right? And yet they surrounded all four sides of the court with empty space? Don’t worry, it was even dumber in person. Speaking of dumb, I should probably mention that Spain nearly blew the semifinal because Russia said, "Hey, we're going to swarm the Gasol brothers every time they get the ball, do you have a Plan B?" In the first half, the answer was "No!" And then everything changed, shots started falling, an inside-outside game materialized and Spain banged out an eight-point victory (and the silver medal at worst).
In this year's Olympic basketball competition, there are several teams that are a threat to medal, and maybe even contend with Team USA. As the Games ramp up, we’ll be providing looks at the strengths, weaknesses, and medal chances of these possible contenders.
Argentina has been a force for years in international play, and their success has set up a rivalry with the U.S. that has a tendency to get a bit chippy (something we saw during their “friendly” in Spain). With both teams in the same group, they’ll be facing off during seeding and could face each other again in the medal rounds, which could make for even more fun.
Team USA took a break yesterday from its string of pre-Olympics beat downs to face an Argentina team still made up mostly of players who took home Olympic gold in 2004. What looked like just another blowout quickly became a close one as the Americans struggled from the outside. The result was an 86-80 win for the U.S. in its first real test in the run-up to the London games, and one that provided a few main takeaways:
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports over the weekend.
Adam Scott bogeyed the last four holes in an epic major collapse, and Ernie Els sunk a birdie putt on 18 to win the British Open by a single stroke. "Looks like I've got a new friend," said a smiling Jean Van de Velde, who then struggled furiously to get out of the straitjacket he's been wearing for over a decade, screaming "friend!" in a terrifying, high-pitched voice, as orderlies rushed in to shut off the television.
Tuesday saw a ton of international football action, as European nations wrapped up the initial qualifying stages for the Euro 2012 Finals and non-Euro national teams played some high-profile friendlies. So fire up "Sweet Georgia Brown" and let's do some globe-trotting, shall we?