August 28, 2004

USA hoops defeats Australia for the gold, 74-63. : Beautiful. Just beautiful.

A few more links (and observations):

- Chuck Schoffner doesn't know what he's talking about when he alludes to "sloppy play". There wasn't any sloppiness in this game, on either side. They just made each other work very hard for every point, and when you do that, sometimes you have to scuffle for 'em.
- Props to Lisa Leslie for her message to "all the little girls out there".
- Huge props for the Opals. They played beautifully, they came that much closer, and when it was all over, they didn't cry, they didn't sulk, they celebrated. They've got a ton of heart, and yes, they will win gold one day.
- Lauren Jackson will probably come in for some criticism for low scoring in this game. If so, it's unjustified. Shutting down Jackson on scoring was one of the US team's top priorities in this game; they did, to an extent -- she still scored double digits -- but even so, it was a near thing. Jackson is not the only offensive power on that team, and with the focus on Jackson, Penny Taylor just went crazy.

...and finally...

- Could there be any finish more perfect than Dawn Staley's final Olympic field goal?

Yeah. Them's my gurls.

posted by lil_brown_bat to other at 09:41 PM - 6 comments

Yeah, it was a fine game. You know, I am one of those people who finds women's basketball more interesting than men's basketball, primarily because the women tend to act more as a team. I think that this is the reason the USA women won in international play and that the men lost. Actually, I love watching men's basketball in the olympics, also. Just not NBA - the reliance on individual talent and on the slam dunk makes it thrilling for some, but not so much for me. Anyhow, the women are the true US dream team this year.

posted by Joey Michaels at 11:47 PM on August 28, 2004

American women's team= REAL Dream Team! Enough said.

posted by jasonbondshow at 09:29 AM on August 29, 2004

Sorry. Not enough said. Must. Say. More. It looked to be a pretty great tournament, and the final was more a big party than anything else. Yes, the Aussies (and maybe the Russians, if they can get a better coaching staff, and Brazil at least and maybe one or two others) are going to catch the Dream Team soom, but it won't be because the women are ignoring the team concept. Which is good for everyone. I woke up early yesterday morning to watch the bronze medal game and the final, and it was delightful to watch. Passing, fundamentals, teams that gelled instantly, it was absolutely great. Dawn Staley is worthy of all the hype, and Tina Thompson might have been the most underrated player on the floor. And, of course, it goes without saying that I could watch the Australian team, especially their leader, who even in an off night was tenacious on the boards and gracious in defeat, and who (and this is completely incidental to the conversation) could not be any hotter if she tried.

posted by chicobangs at 09:30 AM on August 29, 2004

Oh just start chanting U-S-A!, U-S-A! already... I mean that in jest, but I can think of a lot of other Olympic moments that impressed me a little more than the favorites winning the event they were the favorites in. Certainly was an entertaining game.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:54 PM on August 29, 2004

Oh, of course there were more impressive moments than that one. Frankly, seeing the first competitor from East Timor actually brought me to tears, and the Iraqi soccer team were genuinely inspirational. And for every Paula Radcliffe or whatserface-the-rower-who-dropped-it, there was an Iranian powerlifter or Israeli windsurfer or Argentinian team picking it up. Oh, and because Canada did only so-so as a country: Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi!

posted by chicobangs at 03:22 PM on August 29, 2004

Hey, ya know? The Olympics is huge, and as pawky as we might want to be, a lot of inspirational stuff is gonna happen. It seems like a waste of energy to try and figure out which was the biggest bestest most inspirational. Instead, maybe it's better to just keep a list, and add to it as needed. The more, the merrier. A lot of the athletes, teams, and even sports in the Olympics get very little visibility the other 3 years and 350 days of every Olympic cycle. Because of that, it's often hard to appreciate the true significance of some of what we're seeing. For that, you have to be the kind of fan of the sport who doesn't just see it every four years, and none of us can be that kind of fan for more than a small fraction of the sports represented in the Olympics. I think part of what was great in the women's hoops final was the sense not just of where that team has been, or where those players have been, but also where the women's game has been. I think that's why the Aussies had such big smiles instead of tears after being handed yet another silver: maybe they sensed that they were part of something really important, and that they had helped make it happen, just as much as the winning team. So, instead of "U-S-A! U-S-A!", I think in many ways it was a moment for all of them to look around and say: Look what we did.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:44 PM on August 29, 2004

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