Maybe it’s just me, but…
You can see, without any effort at all, that this year’s Olympic men’s basketball team is different from those who, recently, wore a USA jersey. This team has been to other events, cheered for other US competitors, and said the right things. This team has a refreshing attitude. Dwayne Wade said to a foreign reporter, “We don’t have a starting five. We have a five who begin the game.” Congratulations should go to Coach K and GM Jerry Colangelo.
Do you think that we did pretty well with respect to the Olympic medal count? Well, Dwight Perry put it in perspective. Slovenia actually came out on top. They had four medals or one medal for every 501,927 citizens. Armenia was second (one/593,717); then came Jamaica (701,083), and Australia (710,374). By comparison, the US was 40th (4,674,225).
Bob Molinaro pointed out that as Katie Hoff (who won three swimming medals) and Michael Phelps (with eight gold medals), both, hail from the same Baltimore suburb, if Towson, MD were a country, it would rank among the top 20 medal winners.
China’s government set aside an area for protests by those who filed an application to do so. However, anyone who filed was arrested. This included the arrest of two women, 77 and 79-years-of-age, who filed an application to protest being evicted from their homes located at one of the “official” demonstration sites. They were sentenced to one year of labor reeducation
Jerry Carew wrote in the LA Times: “He is LeBronze James no more.” BTW- that gold medal was the first championship won by LeBron James at any level.
SWEET TREATS AND TIPOFFS
Dwight Perry gave me two signs that the Olympics were busting China’s budget. “The caldron flame was quietly replaced with an usher holding up a Bic lighter; the gold medals have chocolate in the middle. He also said that one way to pick out the rhythmic gymnast who was on steroids was that she was the only one using a bowling ball.
I received an e-mail from The Sports Curmudgeon defying me to look on MLB.com, and find the start date for the World Series. He said if I called them and asked why baseball’s own website doesn’t have the info, I’ll “wind up listening to crickets.”
Greg Cote bemoaned the fact that the Cavaliers acquired the high-scoring point guard Mo Williams: “Great. LeBron James getting scoring help is like Bill Gates getting a raise.”
SOMEONE TO WATCH FOR
Did you see Ricky Rubio play for Spain? This 17-year-old has been in the league since he was 14 and is said by more than a few veteran sports writers to be a re-incarnation of Pete Maravich. His playing style and his looks, complete with a mop of black hair above a prominent nose has caused some eerie feelings. Two years ago in the Euro Under-16 Tournament, he had 51 points, 24 rebounds, 12 assists, and 7 steals in one game.
When can he play in the NBA, you ask? Would you believe he’ll be eligible in that magic-year 2010? Until then, just remember, you heard it here first.
Dwight Perry told me about the time Phil Jackson was vacationing at Flathead Lake in Montana, nine years ago and had a surprise visitor, Shaquille O’Neal – all 7’1” and 350 pounds of him – cannon balling into the water. “There were 150 people who were lining the shores,” Jackson said, “watching him jump off my dock. Then he told me he didn’t know how to swim. But everybody came out to watch him, so he thought he’d show off.”
Perry said “the employees of the International Bowling Museum in St. Louis were stunned to hear that the Kegler Shrine will close its doors in October. In fact it was so quiet, eyewitnesses said, that you could hear—Nah, too easy.”
Again, maybe it’s just me—but….