Man, are these Olympics turning into some odd soap opera or what? Yeah, the Michael Phelps thing is cool, but otherwise, these games have been one downer after the next. First, there were the CGI fireworks. Then that Milli Vanilli-style switcheroo with the little girl singing the anthem.
You and I both know that Team USA Basketball's "Redeem Team" is just as much about P.R. as it is winning the gold. Yeah, the NBA is interested in reclaiming it's ever diminishing throne as the King Of All Hoops. But David Stern and Co. are equally interested in re-branding the NBA's top stars as do-gooding patriots, replacing their current image as underachieving, oversexed, overpaid, overly aggressive baby daddies.
So, thus far we've seen Team USA exercising restraint and not going all out with putting a Nike in their opponents behinds. Sure, their 3 point shooting is janky, and may be a precursor of upcoming problems. But thus far, during the exhibition season and their easy routs of China and Angola, it's clear they've been restrained. Coach K, Jerry Colangelo, and David Stern have let these young Negroes know that they are to be on their best behavior at all times. Thus, you get thunderous fast break dunks and demoralizing trapping D, but none of the sneering and crotch grabbing of past editions of The Dream Team. And yeah, I'm talkin' about that 96' team from Atlanta, that featured Shawn Kemp clutching his infamously prolific Babymaker like he was at the BET Awards or somethin'.
By comparison, these dudes look like choirboys. Heck, they even had them dressed like they were bout' to Drive Miss Daisy during the opening ceremonies, with those white caps and all. Jesse Owens was crying inside. So was I. But it's all about diplomacy, and selling more shoes and jerseys. Thus, the average margins of victory have been slimmer. They only beat Angola by twenty something the other day. The Original 92' Dream Team beat Angola by like two hundred twenty something.
Here's to hoping Team USA returns to their ghetto roots and puts a nice a$$ kickin' on those Spaniards.
Players on Spain's Olympic basketball team defended a photo in an ad showing the players using their fingers to apparently make their eyes look more Chinese.Never one to mince words, Team USA guard Jason Kidd cut right to the chase and said the exact same thing I was thinkin': Imagine if some Negroes had the nerve to pull this stunt.
The photo, which has been running as a newspaper spread in Spain since Friday, shows all 15 players making the gesture on a basketball court adorned with a Chinese dragon. The photo was part of a publicity campaign for team sponsor Seur, a Spanish courier company, and is being used only in Spain.
International media criticized the photo. London's Daily Telegraph said Spain's "poor reputation for insensitivity toward racial issues has been further harmed" by the photo.
"This was clearly inappropriate, but we understand the Spanish team intended no offense and has apologized," Emmanuelle Moreau, a spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee, said in an e-mail. "The matter rests there as far as the IOC is concerned."
The OCA, an organization representing Asian-Pacific Americans, also found the photo disturbing. "It is unfortunate that this type of imagery would rear its head at a time that is supposed to be about world unity," George Wu, the group's deputy director, said in a statement.
The Spanish women's basketball team also posed for a photo doing the same thing, and four members of Argentina's women's Olympic soccer team were shown making similar faces in a photograph published last week.
Jason Kidd considered the consequences had those giddy European faces been substituted with those of Team USA.Good for you, Jason. Thanks for stating the obvious. I'd like to see LeBron do the same, but he's got too many shoes to sell. This nearly makes up for that lackluster playoff performance last Spring. Nearly.
“We would’ve been already thrown out of the Olympics,” he told Yahoo! Sports. “At least, we wouldn’t have been able to come back to the U.S. …There would be suspensions.”
And for his European peers, well, Kidd suggested, “They won’t do anything to them. It’s a double standard.”
For Spain, there are several NBA players, including the Lakers’ Pau Gasol and Toronto’s Jose Calderon, in this unnerving team photo. They wore Spanish uniforms and had the federation’s seal on the floor. It ran as a full-page advertisement in a Madrid newspaper, an advertisement for a national team sponsor. This wasn’t an impromptu shot, but a carefully calculated choice.
“They have some explaining to do,” Kidd said. “They’ll come up with something good.”
Gasol and Calderon aren’t just accountable to Spain on this Olympic stage but the global corporate entity that pays them more than $130 million in pro contracts. The NBA could’ve delivered a ready rebuke on Wednesday and there was none.
As much as anything, this episode feeds a prevailing feeling among African-American NBA players that they’re the constant scapegoats for whatever issues – real or perceived – plague the sport. Without the public demanding a pound of accountability for European players, do they get a pass?
Spain doesn't think this was racist, merely good fun. Since I'm not into spreading racist stereotypes, I'll allow you to insert your own snappy comebacks you-know-where.
Sadly, the Basketball Gods didn't shine brightly enough on China, as they lost their bid at personal redemption, blowing a 14 point 4th quarter lead to lose to Spain by 10 in OT the other night. Then again, this is the same Spanish team chock full of NBA talent that was supposed to be Team USA's biggest opponent barely squeaking by a Chinese team that the USA squad throttled by thirty-plus the other night. I smell a beatdown.
Fear not China, we got your back. Spain, prepare for a thrashing.
Question: Team Spain swears this was in good humor, and not even remotely racist. Do you understand the logic of their apology or are they full of crap? How much should Team USA bludgeon this team by to extract some ancillary revenge?
Members of Spanish team say photo not meant as offensive [ESPN]
Spain photo exposing NBA double standard? [Yahoo! Sports]
 Oddly enough, in a country of one billion, it turns out that Yao Ming not only doesn't have the best selling jersey, he's not even in the Top 10. Kobe rules the world!