I don’t know what to say I am so angry. I want to join the President Obama apology tour. This kind of outrageous mismatch is exactly the reason why the pro athletes must GO from the Olympic games. They skew the results so as to hinder true competition. They offend other nations needlessly. (And don’t be fooled by the autograph session by the Tunisian athletes after their slaughter. Of course a serious basketball player would want to meet some of the best players in the world. But that does not mean this does not insult and disrespect other nations with a rigged competition.)
I believe Coach Krzyzewski when he says he did not run up the score:
“Obviously, the first thing we did was not play LeBron and Kobe in the second half,” Krzyzewski said defiantly. “The second thing was, even with Carmelo shooting like that, we benched him. We didn’t play (Kevin) Durant. We didn’t take any fast breaks in the fourth quarter, and we played all zone. You have to take a shot every 24 seconds, and the shots we took happened to be hit.
“I take offense to his question, because there’s no way in the world that our program in the United States is ever out to humiliate anyone. And a coach would be humiliated if we didn’t play hard, but the score is irrelevant to us. We just want to play well and win.”
I believe the Duke coach is way too classy and sporting to humiliate anyone. It’s not his fault. It’s the fault of the USOC and IOC in allowing pro athletes in the Olympics. It’s sports imperialism. The major nations are the only ones rich enough to have a professional league or cohort of pro players to have a chance to win. Nations like Tunisia cannot keep up. It’s not fair.
It may be true that the Tunisian amateur team would have only a slightly better chance of a medal than the team at this Games. BUT at least, it would be consistent with the Olympic spirit.
Until they promote me to glory (Lord willing!) I will continue to protest this outrage. But maybe this mismatch is awakening the American people: Here’s a CBS sports columnist named Larry Dobrow said it: Root against the US team! Here it is:
Thus it’s time to put aside our collective affinities for liberty, barbecue and tank tops, and pray for someone, anyone, to take down Dream Team v.6.0.
Nonetheless: Go Australia. Go China. Go Great Britain, you plucky automatic-bid beneficiaries, you. Make a tournament of this, somebody. Please.
Dobrow uses the word: Imperialism
Taken together, it’s enough to make a fella ask: Where’s the fun? Basketball imperialism may not be as troubling from a moral perspective as standard-issue imperialism, but it still doesn’t feel all that uplifting to be on the side of the conquering, domineering entity.
Perhaps this is so embarrassing, it’ll be a turning point. Much of the coverage is neutral to mildly jingoist but there is hope:
Sacramento Bee: Is It Time to Retire Dream Team?
The U.S will win the gold, but there won’t be much to celebrate. The competition is way too lopsided, the results way too predictable.
Enjoy it as an exhibition, if you must. But the Olympics should mean more than that.
The Oregonian: The Dream Team Doesn’t Belong in the Olympics Anymore
A man with an all-access pass could walk all around the Olympic Park on a given day here and find warming, shining, inspiring examples of what the Olympics are about. This 17-day festival features a line of rich, authentic, culminating moments in the athlete’s lives. I’m not sure exactly what the Olympic spirit is — by definition, anyway — but I know what it is not.
And even as I scoffed initially at the notion of us not sending our very best players to the Olympics, the USA-Nigeria game spun me straight around.
A boxing judge has been ordered home here. More than 30 people have been arrested for scalping tickets. Eight women badminton players were disqualified for trying to lose matches to improve their draw. The Olympics has its bad moments. But nothing has felt unbecoming in the first week of competition except the sight of the American basketball team conducting an embarrassing open-gym session against Nigeria in which our country waited far too long to throttle down.
I’ve changed my mind.
The Dream Team doesn’t belong here anymore.
And remember: There will be blowback. There always is. Someday we’ll need the vote of Nigeria for our pet sports project and they’ll say: I remember that game in the Olympics. I watched it. Go to hell.