Blog Entry

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

Posted on: August 24, 2008 4:22 am
  •  
 

The basketball gold medal game was stunning, the officials absolutely awful but in the end the Redeem Team lived up to its name.

It wasn't their best night. The Americans at times played defense with the intensity of a Sunday afternoon jogger.

This game will go down as one of the top five in Olympic basketball history and Spain deserves a great deal of credit for taking the Americans to the limit.

Still, overall in these Olympics the Americans were spectacular, particularly Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. They enabled you to root for USA basketball again, they rebuilt our image, and they mostly handled themselves with class and dignity. If you can't be proud of what they did -- and the women as well -- then you're more cynical than I am. Which is impossible.

While these Olympics will be remembered for Michael Phelps what the basketball team did was far more impressive. Yes. Far more.

The reason why is pressure. If Phelps had earned five gold medals instead of eight he wouldn't have been called a failure.

If the United States won a silver or bronze the players would've been treated like total losers. They'd be called embarrassing. Media and fans would be screaming for massive changes.

The world and many people in this country waited for the Redeemers to fail so everyone could wag their fingers and portray the Americans as street ballers incapable of playing the precision International game.

You don't think the Americans knew this? You don't think they felt this pressure and it didn't weight on their chests like Shaquille O'Neal's backside?

Phelps had only Mark Spitz to worry about. The basketball team was fighting the failures of the recent past as well as our cynicism.

It's late on the East Coast and the game just ended. My eyes are barely open but I'm nevertheless giddy. Actually, I'll say it, as corny as it sounds, I'm proud as hell.
  •  
Category: Olympic Games
Tags: Redeem Team
 
Comments

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2008 5:16 pm
 

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

I would rather watch ametuers play in the Olympics versus professionals.  The Olympic games are not all about winning, at least the weren't when they were thought up.  It is about the spirit of competition, sportsmanship, people of different culture and view points coming together to learn about eachother, and representing your country and culture with pride and honor.  Now it is about the Gold.  A world filled with greed can not even stand to have a 2 week competition that is about more than money, and politics.  Who would get more out the the Olympic experience?  Kobe, or a Shooting Guard from Davidson?  I would have more fun rooting for Stephen Curry burying 3 pointers on Spain than watching Kobe "shhh" the crowd at the Olympics, even if the ametuers didn't win gold. 

 I think watching a team of Curry (Davidson), Collison (UCLA), Abrams (Texas), McNeal (Marquette), D. Pagett (Louisville), Kyle Singler (Duke), Aron Baynes (Wash. St), Harangody (ND), Pargo (Gonzaga), Daye (Gonzaga), Blair (Pitt) would be awesome - those are just 12 guys I quickly searched for and thought they would make a nice TEAM together.  Some size, some quickness, and ton of shooting.  Perhaps a defensive big and guard should be added.  I think they would do fine in the Olympics and I would sure as hell root a lot harder for them than I do a bunch of millionaires.  I also think they would give 120% every second of the game as they are representing the USA. 

 I guess that's why they show more of the gymnastics, track and swimming in the Olympic coverage.  Usually there are better stories and aren't guys/gals we see ALL the time on ESPN etc. 




Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2008 2:47 pm
 

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

First, go back to grammar school...

Second, why the hell should the U.S. go back to being the only team that uses the college kids instead of the best of their country?  Does it only 'mean something' if we use the college kids to win instead of our country's best?  You must be from Spain or something man, grow up...



Since: Aug 26, 2008
Posted on: August 26, 2008 2:32 pm
 

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

I agree that winning a gold medal for the BB team is terrific, but I can't agree that this tops the Michael Phelps accomplishments.  If team USA was made up of amuatuer athletes then I would have to agree with you.  Having professional athletes compete in the olymipics takes away from the glory that these games carry.  I loved wacthing the games as much as I could, however the BB games did not interest me in the least.




Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2008 2:21 pm
 

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

Freeman says: Then again you're Canadian. You're used to bronze medals.

 

What if I said:  You're black, you're used to remedial jobs/jail.

 

I'll bet you wouldn't like it.




Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2008 1:17 pm
 

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

The 2004 team didn't have the 12 best players and neither did this team.  Are you going to tell me Iverson from 2004 is one of the best 12 players????  Sure he's exciting to watch but his game of one on one doesn't translate in the international world.  Plus the NBA is all about one on one basketball.  And as far as this team, are you going to tell me Paul Pierce and KG aren't apart of the list of the 12 best players?  I'm just saying.....don't talk about these teams as if they have the best players on them - which is ok, as a team is better with role players.  It would have been interesting to see the 2008 Celtics go to the Olympics.  I would venture to say they would have won gold because they would have played as a team and had a sharp shooter in Allen, and stars in Pierce and KG. 



Since: Dec 28, 2007
Posted on: August 26, 2008 12:54 pm
 

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

After the last Olympics (Athens) I was definitley impressed with this basketball team. Not so much for what they did on the court, but for the way they conducted thmselves off the court and for their dedication and 3 year committment. However, with that said, Phelps' accomplishment was a far better story and much more impressive. How in the world can Freeman see it any other way? When you get right down to it, this was a team of NBA stars and the NBA is supposed to be the best league in th world. The best players on the other teams were NBA players. The US team winning the gold, no matter what has happened in the past few Olympics and world toirnaments, is no big surprise. Winning 8 golds with 7 world records including that comeback win by .01 of a second was truly amazing. This was the Phelps Olympics and should be remembered as such.



Since: Aug 10, 2007
Posted on: August 26, 2008 12:32 pm
 

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

Oh, and by the way, we supposedly had the 12 best basketball players in the world in 2004 and got out butts kicked badly. So apparently winning a gold isn't as easy as you claim.

Oh Mikey....

In 2004 we DID have the 12 best, but they didn't give a <expletive deleted>!!!!

We shouldn't be showering these people with the level of amazement that you are.  The fact is they did as was expected.

When I get to work and punch in on time, my boss isn't standing there with party hats and giant cakes proclaiming that I'm the new employee of the month.  Why?

Because I'm simply doing what is expected of me.

EXACTLY like the US Basketball team did.




Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: August 26, 2008 12:24 pm
 

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

Oh, and by the way, we supposedly had the 12 best basketball players in the world in 2004 and got out butts kicked badly. So apparently winning a gold isn't as easy as you claim.

Then again you're Canadian. You're used to bronze medals.



Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: August 26, 2008 12:19 pm
 

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

Well, getting a five star rating is pretty damn impressive canadian.



Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2008 12:11 pm
 

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

The only reason Freeman wrote this post was to get people to reply and get his hits up. So far there are 22 pages, so I guess it has worked. I would have believed him if the basketball team went 8-0 by playing a tough opponent in each game. Phelps had to face the French relay team with three of the top 10 fastest swimmers in that discipline, the Serbian he beat by .01 seconds and Ian Crocker who only swam the one event. When you take arguably the top 12 best basketball players in the world, put them on a team and they play one tough game, it's not even close that Phelps' story is much more impressive. Saying the basketball team's win is more impressive is like saying someone giving Freeman a 5 star rating on this blog is more impressive than someone winning a Pulitzer prize.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com