Heading into the basketball competition of these Olympics, 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 chances of these possible contenders.
Much like Spain, France features a team full of NBA pros and familiar names. Although they lost to Spain in the finals of EuroBasket last season, France had a fantastic run in that tournament that allowed them to qualify for these Olympic Games, where they should be a threat to win another medal.
1. Ryan Madson, Breadwinner
When you say "YOLO," Andy Greenwald says "Butterscotch Krimpets":
"Pour out a little liquor — or at least a little baking soda — for Reds pitcher Ryan Madson. You know how stats dorks like to measure everything in baseball against replacement players? Ryan Madson is the replacement player. First the Phillies replaced him with Dropkick Murphys Stan Jonathan Papelbon, despite Madson’s agent, the dreaded Scott Boras, insisting that the Phillies had offered his client $44 million first. Then came the devastating disclosure that the closer’s UCL had been torn completely off the bone, requiring the replacement surgery known as Tommy John. But neither bit of news stung as much as the revelation that local hoagie-roll bakery Liscio’s hadn’t even waited for the ink on Papelbon’s contract to dry before replacing former spokesman Madson with hungry Houston transplant Hunter Pence. Stay strong, Mad Dog! May you return next year, stronger than ever and in a LeBron-esque carb cloud of double-zero flour. Like yeast, a good pitcher/bread spokesman can’t stay down for long."
Poor Toney Douglas. In the middle of last season, the Knicks were looking to acquire a backup point guard to ensure the diminutive reserve wouldn’t ever have any distribution duties. Six months later, he was asked to orchestrate the offense for a team with championship aspirations. To the surprise of far too many people, Douglas has failed spectacularly in a role he has repeatedly proven unfit to hold. Shocking.