Kobe Bryant and Team USA are backing up their bold pre-Olympic talk.
Who saw any of this coming? Team USA has been not only winning their games, they have been demolishing their opponents about halfway through pool play. This all started with France, and even facing another team with some notable NBA star power, Team USA came out and took care of business. Then came Tunisia where the Americans got off to a notoriously slow start, before eventually blowing Tunisia out. But the real eye-popping game happened on Thursday night against Nigeria.
Now, nobody could really have thought Nigeria would give the USA much of a game, but this performance was unbelievable. Team USA scored the most points in Olympic basketball history, and had the largest win margin in Olympic history as well (yes, even beating the ‘Dream Team’ of 1992 in both of these) with a 156-73. That is a winning margin of 83 points! Of course with a game like this, there has been some criticism of USA running up the score. Let me just say, that is one of the most ridiculous things anyone, media or general public, could be saying. USA made 29 3 pointers. Carmelo Anthony had 37 points… in 14 minutes. The starters were all pulled early on and there is no way these guys would want to be missing shots on purpose to not hurt their opponents’ feelings. You simply play to win the games and that is what USA has been doing up to this point. Certainly these games were the easy part of their schedule and it is only going to get more difficult from here on out, especially once pool play ends in the coming days. This team is on a mission for gold and they will not settle for anything but the best. Neither should anyone watching this team. Now is the time to prove the statements made by Kobe and LeBron earlier this summer true. Let’s go USA!
- Pool Play continues: Saturday August 4th vs Lithuania 9:30 am eastern time (2:30 pm local time)
Monday August 6th vs Argentina 5:15 pm eastern time (10:15 pm local time)
Quarterfinals begin on Wednesday August 8th.
- John Calabro