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September 03, 2004

Olympics: Larry Brown didn't work wonders

"The Olympics are over, and some events went according to plan for USA gold medal aspirations. The unbeatable womens softball team won a third straight gold, breaking 18 Olympic records in the process. The US took home some surprise gold, including womens gymnastics.

And then there's men's basketball.

Including the exhibition games, the guys' U.S. Olympic basketball team lost four times on their way to a bronze medal. A highly publicized disaster, the blame had to be placed somewhere. Some belongs on the shoulders of Larry Brown and the coaching staff.

There is no question in anyone's mind, including the opponents of the US team, that we had the most talent. The squad had more game than EA Sports. Here's what happened: no defense, especially behind the 3-point arc, and no pure shooters to combat the zone D. And this despite the fact that the three-point line was much closer and we had strong defensive players like Richard Jefferson and Tim Duncan?

Read more at Larry Brown didn't work wonders

Posted by Darren at 12:16 PM | Comments (1)

August 29, 2004

NBA culture clashes with FIBA

"SHORTLY AFTER THE U.S. Olympic men's basketball team defeated Lithuania, 104-96, in Saturday night's bronze-medal game, coach Larry Brown called for changes in the process of selecting American players for international competition.

Shortly after that, Stu Jackson, chairman of the USA Basketball senior national team, added a few thoughts of his own.

Brown and Jackson are bright men with interesting ideas. Unfortunately for the future of American basketball as practiced on the international stage, at some point Tim Duncan's voice is going to be heard. And here is what Duncan had to say after Saturday's game:

"I'm about 95 percent certain my FIBA career is over," Duncan said. "FIBA sucks.""
Read more at | 08/29/2004 | NBA culture clashes with FIBA

Posted by Darren at 10:15 PM | Comments (0)

Bronze as good as it gets for U.S. Men's Basketball

"The United States men didn't leave Olympic basketball's drastically altered landscape empty-handed on Saturday.

A bronze medal was hardly what the Americans wanted or expected out of these Summer Games. But it was the best they could manage, and the 104-96 win over Lithuania at the Olympic Indoor Hall did provide a measure of satisfaction after an uneven and disappointing tournament.

The result was warmly applauded by the many Americans in an audience of 14,500."

Read more at Sports

Posted by Darren at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)

Women's Dream Team doesn't Disappoint

"They missed shots, threw the ball away and got beat on defense. In the end, though, Shannon Johnson and Tina Thompson helped the Americans pull out another gold-medal victory.

Johnson and Thompson gave the United States a huge lift with their second-half scoring, and the Americans beat Australia 74-63 today for their third straight Olympic basketball title.

The U.S. players finally got their game together after falling behind by four points in the second half. They turned up the defense, crashed the boards harder and, most important, found their shooting touch -- something the U.S. men's team failed to do."

Read more at Women's Dream Team doesn't disappoint

Posted by Darren at 04:32 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2004

U.S. to Play Lithuania Again for Bronze

"For the first time since the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the team standing atop the podium for the gold medal ceremony wont be wearing red with its white and blue.

Argentina and Italy will play for the gold after a stunning day that included the United States being humbled 89-81 by Argentina and the Italians using their 3-point prowess to knock off previously unbeaten Lithuania 100-91.

Allen Iverson promised a full effort in the bronze-medal game against Lithuania on Saturday night, but that will do little to erase the stigma that always will be associated with this Olympic team.

Theyve already lost three times, hammering home the reality that the world has not only caught up to the Americans, it has surpassed them."

Read more at Posted by Darren at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

U.S. and Australia: A golden matchup - Women's Basketball

"There had been an air of inevitability throughout the Olympic women's basketball tournament that the United States and Australia would meet for the gold medal.

Yesterday that matchup was realized, with both of the tournament's undefeated teams advancing through their semifinal games at the Olympic Indoor Hall. First, the United States edged Russia, 66-62. Then, Australia ran away from Brazil, 88-75.

Today, when the championship tips off at 9:15 a.m., Pittsburgh time, the Australians aim to undo the final remaining feeling of inevitability.

The one that says the Americans are a lock to win."

Read more at U.S. and Australia: A golden matchup

Posted by Darren at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2004

U.S. women move into basketball gold medal game

"Tina Thompson led a balanced attack with 14 points, as the United States women's basketball team assured themselves of a medal after beating Russia, 66-62, in the semifinals at the Summer Olympics on Friday.

The Americans will now face the winner of the Brazil/Australia game in Saturday's gold medal game. Lisa Leslie and Tamika Catchings each added 11 points, while Yolanda Griffith finished with 10, as the two-time defending gold medalists held off a late rally by Russia. Tatiana Shchegoleva had 13 points, while Maria Stepanova added 11 for Russia. Russia cut its deficit to 60-58 on a three-pointer by Oxana Rakhmatulina with 4:23 left, but the U.S. scored the next six points to put the game away. Sheryl Swoopes had two buckets and Thompson scored from inside the paint to push the Americans to a 66-58 cushion with 2:39 left."

Read more at U.S. women move into basketball gold medal game

Posted by Darren at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

U.S. to meet Argentina in Men's basketball Semi Final

"The United States and Argentina will go after each other again in the Olympic men's basketball semifinals, and if their latest performances carry over, it'll be difficult for the South American rivals to win. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. EDT tipoff, with the winner advancing to the gold-medal game against either Lithuania or Italy, who play at 3:15 p.m. Lithuania used a barrage of 3-pointers to beat the U.S. team in the preliminary round 94-90 last Saturday. Italy routed the Americans by 17 points in an exhibition 12 days before their Olympic opener."

Read more at U.S. men's basketball team faces Argentina for a spot in gold-medal game; Lithuania plays Italy

Posted by Darren at 10:29 PM | Comments (1)

The pain in Spain: 'Explain'

" In an arena where anti-American sentiment was running about 100-to-1, the men's Olympic basketball team from the United States of America walked off the floor to the universal language of displeasure. Boos are boos in any language.

In the aftermath of their 102-94 victory over Spain that moved the men within two victories of the gold medal that is their supposed birthright, the crowd was unhappy for many things, among them the fact that U.S. coach Larry Brown had the bad form to call a timeout with 23 seconds left and the game out of reach.

As he would spell out for the media later, Brown said he had asked for the timeout with about a minute to play, after two turnovers that caused him concern. But as is not uncommon in international basketball, the scorekeeper didn't award him the timeout immediately and Brown later, satisfied all was well, tried to cancel the request. "But they wouldn't let me do that, they gave it to me anyway," the coach said.

After the game ended, one of Spain's coaches screamed at Brown, inciting the crowd. "I tried to apologize," Brown said, "but it was like a disagreement with my son. Sometimes he doesn't want to hear your explanation.

"I said I was sorry. I would never try to embarrass someone like that."

There was almost a palpable relief as Brown, who coached the Detroit Pistons to their unexpected NBA title over the Los Angeles Lakers in June before collecting the assortment of mostly young, inexperienced NBA players willing to represent U.S. basketball in these Olympics, responded to the short-lived international incident. It was much more pleasant discussing a questionable timeout than talking about a 19-point loss to Puerto Rico or a fourth-quarter collapse to Lithuania."

Read more at The pain in Spain: 'Explain'

Posted by Darren at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

Italy 83, Puerto Rico 70 - Men's Basketball

"Italy (4-2) will face Lithuania on Friday night with the winner advancing to the gold medal game. Lithuania (6-0), which has won the last three bronze medals, beat China 95-75 in the quarterfinals.

Gianluca Basile added 18 points for Italy, including the 3-pointer that capped a 13-5 run to open the second half and gave his team a 54-42 lead."

Read more at Italy 83, Puerto Rico 70

Posted by Darren at 05:36 AM | Comments (0)

Dream Team finally hits its jump shots, beats Spain 102-94 to advance to Friday's semifinals

"Larry Brown was right. The Americans did start hitting their jump shots, and suddenly they look as if they might be the team to beat at the Athens Games. Stephon Marbury broke the U.S. men's Olympic record with 31 points, helping to beat Spain 102-94 in the quarterfinals Thursday and transform a team that had spent the first 1 1/2 weeks missing jumpers.

"Stephon shot the ball like Stephon today," Lamar Odom said.

After spending 90 minutes working on his shot on the team's day off, Marbury made six of his team's 12 3-pointers and was a big reason the previously undefeated Spaniards are now out of medal contention. They weren't happy about it.

As the teams left the court, Spanish coach Mario Pesquera and Brown yelled and pointed at each other about a late U.S. timeout, and they had to be separated by their assistants."

Read more at Dream Team finally hits its jump shots, beats Spain 102-94 to advance to Friday's semifinals

Posted by Darren at 03:09 AM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2004

Dream Team leads Spain 44-42 at halftime; U.S. trying to advance to semis vs. unbeaten Spaniards

"As expected, the U.S. men's basketball team had its hands full in a quarterfinal game against Spain on Thursday. The United States led the Spaniards 44-42 at halftime, with the winner advancing to play either Argentina or Greece in the semifinals Friday.

The Spaniards were the class of the tournament in the preliminary round, going 5-0, but it remained to be seen if that success would carry over. The other quarterfinals Thursday pit Puerto Rico against Italy, Lithuania against China and Argentina against Greece.

LeBron James was the latest to lower expectations for the Americans, who went a mediocre 3-2 in the preliminaries."

Read more at Dream Team leads Spain 44-42 at halftime; U.S. trying to advance to semis vs. unbeaten Spaniards

update - At Three quarter time the US lead Spain 74 - 67

The final score is US 102 defeated Spain 94

The US will play the winner of Argentina and Greece.

Posted by Darren at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)

NBA, Olympics don't mix

"BRING BACK the college players.

The U.S. Olympic Committee should consider that simple and elegant cure for the poor showing the American basketball team has been making in Athens, and for the even more disgraceful refusal of many top American hoop stars to represent their country in the first place.

By now, the American team has earned condemnation for its poor fundamentals, its even worse teamwork, and its lackadaisical and arrogant attitude. Stars such as Tracy McGrady, Jason Kidd and Shaquille O'Neill made things worse by citing dubious "security concerns" for their refusal to play, and the Olympic selection committee made things worse still by repeating the 1988 mistake of failing to include enough good outside shooters."

Read more atNBA, Olympics don't mix

Posted by Darren at 01:07 AM | Comments (0)

US Women's Basketball Team into Semi Finals

"The place and the opponent don't really matter. This U.S. basketball team is on a roll. Hushing a boisterous crowd with its all-around domination, the United States advanced to the semifinals Wednesday with a 102-72 victory over Greece, which had heart, the home court and little else.

Now, only two games stand between the Americans and a third straight gold medal. They'll play the winner of the Russia-Czech Republic game on Friday. The semifinal winners advance to the gold medal game on Saturday.

After playing their preliminary games in a small arena at the Helliniko complex on the coast, the teams moved to the spacious 19,250-seat Olympic Indoor Hall for the medal round. The Americans looked liked they belonged on the bigger stage."

Read more atU.S. Women's Hoops Team Cruises Into Semis

Posted by Darren at 12:19 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2004

Nigeria Snaps African Women's Hoops Skid

"Players ran to midcourt and jumped into each other's arms. The hugging and screaming lasted several minutes. No Olympic medal at stake, just a winless streak. For the first time, a team representing Africa won a game in women's basketball when Nigeria beat South Korea 68-64 on Tuesday and broke an 0-18 mark.

"This was a major, major win. We came here with one goal and that was to win one game," said former NBA player Sam Vincent, whose team grabbed 11th place in the 12-team tournament. "We won one game. Maybe next time we'll win three games. You have to start somewhere."

Africa began participating in women's basketball in 1996. Zaire went 0-7 in Atlanta. Senegal was 0-6 in 2000.

Nigeria lost its five preliminary-round games in Athens by an average of 17.4 points. The closest was a six-point loss to Japan, the worst a 35-point blowout to Russia.

"The ladies hung in there, dug down, showed a lot of courage and a lot of heart," Vincent said."

Read more at Nigeria Snaps African Women's Hoops Skid

Posted by Darren at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

Yao almost in tears after upset of Serbia-Montenegro

"Yao Ming nearly broke into tears talking about China's 67-66 victory Monday over Serbia-Montenegro.

China coach Del Harris, a veteran of 45 years on the sidelines including 14 seasons as an NBA head coach, called it the best win he's ever had.

The emotional win put China into the quarterfinals, matching its best Olympic finish ever. It also meant no chance at a medal for the two-time defending world champions.

Yao scored 27 points and made the decisive free throws with 28 seconds to play, leading a Chinese team that had lost three games by at least 25 points.

"Today is indeed a day of great joy for us," said the 7-foot-6 Yao, who plays for the Houston Rockets. "Coach Harris has taught us the lesson of life. You should never give up no matter the circumstances."

Harris took over the Chinese national program in May. It's important for China to improve toward medal contention - it hosts the next Summer Games in four years."

Read more at Yao almost in tears after upset of Serbia-Montenegro

Posted by Darren at 05:03 AM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2004

Spain, Lithuania wrap up 5-0 record in group play; U.S. tries to bounce back against Angola

"Spain could have tanked its game against New Zealand, thereby eliminating European rival Serbia-Montenegro from medal contention. Instead, the Spaniards came to play Monday and won 88-84, knocking New Zealand out and keeping the defending world champions in medal contention.

Meanwhile, the United States plays Angola (0-4) at 7:30 a.m. EDT. The Americans (2-2) are trying to recover from Saturday's 94-90 loss to Lithuania.

The game figures to be the easiest of the Olympics for the U.S. squad, though it'll be nowhere near as lopsided as the Angola-U.S. game in 1992, when the Dream Team opened the Barcelona Olympics with a 116-48 victory over players who had holes in their sneakers.

Lithuania also closed out a perfect preliminary round Monday by defeating Australia 100-85. Lithuania became the first team in the tournament to reach 100 points."

Read more at Spain, Lithuania wrap up 5-0 record in group play; U.S. tries to bounce back against Angola

Posted by Darren at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2004

Czech Rep eliminate New Zealand

"In Group B, the Czech Republic eliminated New Zealand with a 74-57 win in the final day of the round robin phase of the women's tournament. in Group A, Nigeria completed their first trip to the Olympics with a fifth straight loss, 93-58 at the hands of Russia.

Australia closed out preliminary round play with an 84-66 victory over Brazil at the women's Olympic basketball tournament on Sunday, clinching top spot in Group A with a perfect 5-0 record.

Brazil (3-2) needed to win by at least 15 points to finish ahead of the Aussies in the standings, but instead place third as Russia (4-1) handed Nigeria a 93-58 drubbing. Greece (1-3) and Japan (1-3) play later on Sunday to determine the fourth and final quarter-final qualifiers from the group."

Read more at Czech Rep eliminate New Zealand

Posted by Darren at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

Lithuania defeats US in Men's Basketball

"Fireworks thundered above Vilnius and other Lithuanian towns Saturday night as cheering crowds filled the streets, singing and waving flags in celebration of a men's basketball victory over the United States at the Olympics.

Although no medal was at stake, the 94-90 victory over a team of NBA pros was a great reason for a party. Many considered it revenge for a loss to the Americans in the semifinals at the last Olympics, when a 3-pointer missed at the buzzer.

"Everyone in Lithuania was waiting," said Jonas Prapiestis, a 37-year-old businessman. "We finally beat them."

Most of the country's bars and cafes stayed open until early Sunday morning, offering drinks and replaying the game. It was shown live on a giant screen in the central Europa Square, as well as dozens of packed bars."

Read more at AP Wire | 08/21/2004 | Lithuanians Delirious Over Basketball Win

Posted by Darren at 05:52 PM | Comments (1)

August 21, 2004

U.S. men's basketball team plays Lithuania
"Take heart, Larry Brown. Yours is not the sole face of frustration at an Olympic basketball tournament that's shaping up as the most compelling since 1988. The Americans are 2-1 entering Saturday's 1 p.m. EDT game against Lithuania, with a loss against Puerto Rico and tougher-than-expected wins over Greece and Australia. But they aren't the only ones struggling in Athens.

The defending world champions from Serbia-Montenegro have lost three of their four three games, Yao Ming's teammates on the Chinese team are having trouble getting the ball past midcourt, and Angola's losing streak is at eight years and counting.

Two of Serbia-Montenegro's losses came in the final seconds to New Zealand and Argentina, and a third happened Saturday 76-68 to Spain. The team sure could use NBA star Peja Stojakovic, who decided against coming to the Athens Games."

Posted by Darren at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

Boomers sink to third defeat - Athens Olympics 2004

"Daniel Santiago scored 20 points and Elias Ayuso added 18 to lead Puerto Rico past Australia 87-82, an Athens Olympics men's basketball preliminary victory that ensured Puerto Rico a quarter-final berth.

In the day's other match, undefeated Spain pushed reigning world champions Serbia and Montenegro to the brink of Olympic elimination with a 76-68 triumph.

Carlos Arroyo, second only to Chinese center Yao Ming among Olympic scorers, contributed 16 points as Puerto Rico, which opened with an epic upset of the United States, rose to 3-1 in Group B with its win over the Boomers.

The Boomers meanwhile have sunk to 1-3 but still hold slim hopes of finishing in the top four of their six-team group to reach the medal play-offs.

They close round-robin action against unbeaten group leader Lithuania, also assured a quarter-final spot thanks to the Aussie loss."

Read more at Boomers sink to third defeat - Athens Olympics 2004 - ABC Sport.

Posted by Darren at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

Team USA Not Only One Struggling at Olympics

"The American hoopsters aren't the only ones struggling at the Olympics.

The defending world champions from Serbia-Montenegro have lost two of their three games, Yao Ming's teammates on China are having trouble getting the ball past midcourt, and Angola's losing streak is at eight years and counting."

Read more at Team USA Not Only One Struggling at Olympics

Posted by Darren at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2004

U.S. Men's Hoops Team Rallies to Beat Aussie

"It was another slow start for the U.S. men's basketball team on Thursday, but the Americans rallied to post an 89-79 win over Australia at the Olympics.

Tim Duncan had 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Allen Iverson and Shawn Marion each totaled 16 points.

The victory moved the United States to 2-1 and solidified its chances of making the quarterfinals. Only Lithuania is currently ahead of the Americans in Group B."

Read more at U.S. Men's Hoops Team Rallies to Beat Aussie

Posted by Darren at 02:28 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2004

US v Australia Men's Basketball Scores

The half time score in the USA v Australia Men's Basketball is Australia 51 - USA 47.

At one point during the second quarter Australia had a lead of up to 12 points.

Update - At three quarter time Australia lead the US 67 - 65 after a quarter in which the US led by 3 points.

Update - Final Score - US 89 - Australia 79

Posted by Darren at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

Dream Team most unpopular athletes in Olympics

"The U.S. men's basketball team is getting slammed from all sides.

These Dream Team impostors are jeered in Athens bars by Americans, booed in the arena by Greeks and the rest of the world, despised back home by people fed up watching their selfish ways on TV.

Complaining right in their faces is coach Larry Brown, who's beside himself between yelling at them, trying to cajole them into playing like a team, and ripping them for lack of effort.

This is a collection of players who offend basketball purists by insisting on playing one-on-one, schoolyard-style. More than that, they've become a focal point for some of the attitudes that critics find most offensive about pro athletes.

It's gotten so bad, after the lopsided loss to Puerto Rico and the squeaky victory over Greece, that angry U.S. basketball fans are hoping the Americans will get their comeuppance in these games by getting shut out of the medal round. Sports talk radio shows at WFAN in New York have been besieged by callers saying this team represents the NBA at its worst. It's the same 3,000 miles away at KNBR in San Francisco and at radio stations in between."

Read more at Dream Team most unpopular athletes in Olympics

Posted by Darren at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

US defeat South Korea - Women's Basketball

"Looking for an answer to an offense that seemed out of synch, the United States finally found it: Get the ball to Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson and get out of the way. The duo dominated inside against shorter, slower opponents and the United States blew open the game at the start of the second half to beat South Korea (news - web sites) 80-57 on Wednesday.

With the U.S. men's players and coaches watching, the women completed the blowout for their third consecutive victory in Athens and 20th straight overall in the Olympics.

Leslie made 11 of 13 shots and scored 25 points despite sitting out most of the fourth quarter. Many times, all the 6-foot-5 center had to do was turn and shoot as her defenders stretched vainly for the ball.

Thompson added 18, and well into the third quarter she and Leslie were outscoring the entire South Korean squad. They also led the 19-2 run at the start of the second half that broke the game open."

Read more at U.S. Women Beat S. Korea in Basketball

Posted by Darren at 01:38 AM | Comments (0)

Ming dunks New Zealand, Chinese press

"The influence of Yao Ming on a basketball game can be overwhelming, just as it was yesterday when the 7-5 Chinese center scored 39 points in a 69-62 win over New Zealand.

But Yao's strength isn't just measured in what he does on the court. Sometimes what he says can send an entire nation into a state of panic.

After a frustrating opening-round loss to Spain on Sunday, Yao became annoyed over questions posed by the Chinese media and the Houston Rockets All-Star responded by making a flippant comment about possibly retiring from the national team. The Chinese took the threat seriously."

Read more at Ming dunks New Zealand, Chinese press

Posted by Darren at 01:22 AM | Comments (0)

Australia defeats Japan in Women's Basketball

"The Australian Opals have maintained their unbeaten record in the women's Olympic basketball tournament win a 97-78 win over Japan in Athens.

Lauren Jackson top-scored with 31 points for the Opals, who were always in charge and led 56-35 at half-time.

Trish Fallon chipped in with 12 points while Laura Summerton, Penny Taylor and Suzy Batkovic each added 11."

Read more at Jackson inspires Opals to easy win

Posted by Darren at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2004

USA Back On Target

The US "Dream Team" saw off a spirited display by Greece to seal a 77-71 win in the men's basketball competition.
The Americans, humbled by Puerto Rico on Sunday, showed more fight against the hosts in front of a hostile crowd.

But they did not have things all their own way as the Greek players drained a succession of three-pointers to keep the contest close in the second half.

Source BBC USA survive Greece scare

Posted by at 07:16 AM | Comments (2)

Puerto Rico falls back to earth

"No wild celebrations for Puerto Rico this time.

Two days after a stunning victory over the United States, Puerto Rico returned to Olympic basketball reality in a 98-90 loss to Lithuania on Tuesday.

"It's not a letdown," Puerto Rico centre Jose Ortiz said. "As I said the other night, basketball is not consistent always."

Neither was Puerto Rico's offence - and that cost the team against Lithuania.

Puerto Rico's 56 per cent shooting in the 92-73 victory over the United States dropped to 39 per cent (25-for-64) against Lithuania, which put more pressure on its shooters - although the backcourt of Carlos Arroyo and Elias Ayuso each had 25 points."Read more at Puerto Rico falls back to earth

Posted by Darren at 03:03 AM | Comments (0)

Allen Iverson has broken right thumb, but will play

"Allen Iverson broke his right thumb but plans to play anyway Tuesday night for the U.S. Olympic basketball team, which is coming off an embarrassing loss to Puerto Rico in its opener.

Iverson originally injured the thumb on his shooting hand during the team's 92-73 loss Sunday, then aggravated it during practice Monday.

X-rays revealed the fracture, USA Basketball spokesman Craig Miller said."

Read more at Allen Iverson has broken right thumb, but plans to play against Greece as U.S. men try to rebound

Posted by Darren at 02:24 AM | Comments (0)

Yao leads China past Tall Blacks

"Houston Rockets center Yao Ming scored 39 points and led China to a 69-62 win over New Zealand on Tuesday. China made up for their opening match loss to Spain by grabbing the provisional lead in Group A ahead of Serbia's clash against Italy."

Read more at Yao leads China past Tall Blacks

Posted by Darren at 01:36 AM | Comments (0)

Australia defeats Angola - Men's Basketball

"Australia defeated Angola 83-59 in the men's Olympic basketball competition in Athens on Tuesday.

The win evened Australia's record to 1-1 after its opening defeat to hosts Greece on Monday.

Shane Heal top-scored for the Boomers with 18 points while hot young prospect Andrew Bogut put 16 points on the board.

Bogut was 7-of-7 from the field for the game and also finished with a game-high 11 rebounds."

Read more at Boomers down Angola

Posted by Darren at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2004

US Men's Basketball Team Could Lose Agatin

"U.S. coach Larry Brown was despondent, the head of the U.S. selection committee was defensive, and Allen Iverson was hanging up on callers who asked what went wrong.

A day after their first Olympic loss in 16 years, the Americans were experiencing varying degrees of distress.

"I feel like a failure," Brown said. "I'm very disappointed, but very anxious to try to make it better and make it right. That's all I can do.

"If you don't play with unbelievable effort - plus the fact that these teams are really, truly teams and want it so badly - what happened last night is going to happen again and again and again."

Coming off a shocking 92-73 loss to Puerto Rico, the American men will play Greece tonight in front of a boisterous crowd. The noise of the fans rooting for the host nation will no doubt be ratcheted up now that everyone has seen how the U.S. team is not just vulnerable, but beatable."

Read more at We could lose again

Posted by Darren at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

US beat Czech Republic in Women's Basketball

"The U.S. women's basketball team overcame a slow start to beat the Czech Republic 80-61 at the Olympics Monday and avoid following the American men to an upset defeat."

Women Rally to Avoid Second U.S. Upset

Posted by Darren at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2004

Nelson will help Lithuanians again, but not against Americans

"Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Donn Nelson, who has helped guide Lithuania to three straight bronze medals in men's basketball, has a caveat for his fourth Olympics with the team.

He won't be giving guidance if Lithuania faces the United States.

Nelson was an assistant coach for Lithuania in 1992 when, in its first Olympic appearance, it beat the Unified Team representing most of the former Soviet republics for the bronze.

He was in Sydney four years ago when Lithuania lost 85-83 to the United States in the semifinals. A 3-pointer by Sarunas Jasikevicius at the buzzer was short and Nelson spent a sleepless night considering what might have been, had that shot fallen."

Read more at Nelson will help Lithuanians again, but not against Americans

Posted by Darren at 08:18 PM | Comments (0)

U.S. team is beat by its apathy

"These are now Olympics of two big surprises: The Greeks were ready and the Americans were not.

In the opening round of men's basketball Sunday, Puerto Rico handily beat a sloppy and ill-prepared U.S. team 92-73.

The Yanks were so blindsided the stats would suggest they were blindfolded. They clunked shots from short range, bumped into opponents and couldn't find the handle on the ball.

In the first half, they shot 8 percent from 3-point range and 31 percent overall while committing 15 fouls and 12 turnovers."

Read more at U.S. team is beat by its apathy

Posted by Darren at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

Americans still stuck in deep sleep - Men's Basketball

"The NBA players in red, white and blue have been talking of wake-up calls in recent weeks.

The Italy game was a wake-up call, then the Germany game was a wake-up call, and now the 19-point loss to Puerto Rico yesterday in the opening game of the Olympics is the biggest wake-up call yet.

This is a bad case of institutional amnesia, for the wake-up call was delivered four years ago in Sydney, where we barely survived Lithuania en route to the gold medal."

Read more at Americans still stuck in deep sleep - The Washington Times: Sports - August 16, 2004

Posted by Darren at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

USA Basketball Team Thrashed

America suffered there first Olympic loss since 1988 whe they lost to Puerto Rico 92-73 on the opening day of the Men's Basketball tournament.

The stunning defeat in the Olympic opener ended an unbeaten run of 24 matches since NBA professionals were allowed to compete in the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992.

The U.S. team contained superstars Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson and LeBron James, but had no answer to inspired opponents.

The U.S. had been unimpressive in build-up, but had beaten Puerto Rico 96-71 in a warm up game in Florida just two weeks ago.

Source CNN 'Dream team' beaten by Puerto Rico

Posted by at 05:26 AM | Comments (39)

Puerto Rico opens big lead over U.S.

"Puerto Rico stormed to a stunning 49-27 halftime lead over the United States on Sunday in Olympic men's basketball.

Puerto Rico thoroughly outplayed the United States, which has dominated the competition in the modern era.

Elias Ayuso had 12 points and Eddie Casiano added 10 to put the underdogs in control at the half.

The United States have not lost since the NBA began sending players to the Olympics in 1992, but a lack of outside shooting and team chemistry were obvious to the near-capacity crowd at the Helliniko Indoor arena."

Read more at Puerto Rico opens big lead over U.S.

Posted by Darren at 04:43 AM | Comments (0)

Argentia pips Serbia-Montenegro at the post: 83-82

"Manu Ginobili's off-balance shot left his hand just a split-second before the final buzzer, dropping through the basket to give Argentina a thrilling 83-82 victory over Serbia-Montenegro on Sunday on the first day of Olympic men's basketball.

While Argentina's players mobbed Ginobili, Serbia-Montenegro's coach protested that the shot came after the buzzer. But TV replays showed Ginobili released the ball in time.

"Once it left my hand, I knew it was good," Ginobili said. "This is a very special thing.""

Read more at Manu Ginobili's off-balance buzzer-beater sends Argentine men past Serbia-Montenegro 83-82

Posted by Darren at 04:39 AM | Comments (0)

Spain defeats China in Men's Basketball Upset

"Pau Gasol of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies scored 21 points Sunday to lead Spain to an 83-58 win over Yao Ming and China in Olympic men's basketball.

In other early matches, Italy failed to score in the final 2 1/2 minutes but held on for a 71-69 win over New Zealand, and Lithuania beat Angola 78-73.

Gasol also added 10 rebounds despite missing six minutes in the first quarter after having his nose bloodied in a collision. It wasn't long after he returned that Spain went on a 9-0 run to go up 35-23 and the rout was on with the lead reaching as many as 27 points."

Read more at Olympic Upset: Gasol Leads Spain Past China

U.S. Women Expect Tougher Game Vs. Czechs

"When U.S. coach Van Chancellor thinks about the Czech Republic's basketball team, it's almost enough to make him dizzy. "The Czech Republic ran an offense over there one time and let me tell you, I haven't figured it out yet," he said.

By Monday, though, look for Chancellor to have a plan. The U.S. team meets the Czech Republic in the second session of the preliminary round, and no one expects it to be as easy as the first game of these Olympics.

That was a 99-47 blowout of New Zealand on Saturday, the third-largest victory margin for a U.S. team in the Summer Games.

"We definitely know they're going to be better than New Zealand," guard Shannon Johnson said."

Read more at U.S. Women Expect Tougher Game Vs. Czechs

Posted by Darren at 02:23 AM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2004

Basketball Preview

The NBA has the best Basketball coverage for the olympics i have seen so far and pick's out the players to watch and the top teams. as well as going through the rules for the olympic tournament.

Beginning Aug. 15, each team in a group will play every team in their group once before the Olympic quarterfinals begin on Aug. 26.
The fifth and sixth place finishers in each group will play for ninth through 12th place on Aug. 24.

The top four finishing teams from each preliminary-round group advance to the medal-round quarterfinals. The semifinals will be held on Aug 27, and the gold- and bronze-medal games will be held on Aug. 28.

NBA Olympic Basketball

Posted by at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

Lithuania 78, Angola 73 - Men's Basketball

"Eurelijus Zukauskas and Kristof Lavrinovic each scored 15 points as Lithuania defeated Angola 78-73 in men's Olympic basketball Sunday.

Angola, which shot 15-for-29 from 3-point range, led by as many as 13 points in the first half before its foul trouble started to mount and Lithuania took advantage, outscoring Angola 32-6 from the free throw line.

Angola's 3-point barrage kept it close but Lithuania took the lead for good with 1:39 to go in the third quarter and led by as many as 10 points in the fourth."

Read more at Lithuania 78, Angola 73

Posted by Darren at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

Italy 71, New Zealand 69 - Men's Basketball

"Gianluca Basile scored 16 points and Italy, which led by as many as 17 points, held on for a 71-69 win Sunday despite failing to score over the final 2{ minutes.

Matteo Soragna scored as the shot clock expired with 2:30 left, giving Italy a 71-62 lead. New Zealand scored seven straight points, getting within two on a pair of free throws by Sean Marks with 41 seconds left.

Basile missed a 3-point attempt with 20 seconds left and New Zealand had a chance to tie, but Phillip Jones lost the ball out of bounds as he started to drive to the basket with 2.5 seconds left. Massimo Bulleri of Italy then missed two free throws, the second on purpose, and New Zealand couldn't get off a good shot at the buzzer."

Read more at Italy 71, New Zealand 69

Posted by Darren at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

Former Celtic star coaching Nigeria

"Longtime NBA fans probably recognized a familiar face on Nigeria's bench for the first women's basketball game.

Sam Vincent, who played for four NBA teams - including the 1986 champion Boston Celtics - is the head coach for Nigeria, which is making its Olympic debut. Nigeria gave Australia, the 2000 silver medalist, a scare before losing 85-73 Saturday.

"They're supposed to be the No. 1 team in our group, so that wasn't bad," Vincent said.

Vincent coached in the NBDL, the NBA's development league. Before that, he began working with African teams in 1997 in South Africa.

"Nigeria approached me in 2003 and they basically said, 'We have a lot of talent, more talent than South Africa, and we feel we can go further, but we need some help with administration and coaching,' " Vincent said."

Read more at Former Celtic star coaching Nigeria

Posted by Darren at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

China to play Spain in Men's Basketball

"CHINA'S Yao Ming, the tallest man in Olympic history, makes his Games bow against fellow gold medal contenders Spain today as the basketball tournament tips off in Athens.

Yao is a towering 2.29 metres (7 ft 6 in) and will come up against another top NBA international talent, Pau Gasol, who is a comparatively petite 2.13 metres (7 ft) but was NBA rookie of the year in 2001-'02.

Gold medallists in Sydney, the USA open their tournament against Puerto Rico. The US, unbeaten since the 1992 Barcelona Games, easily cruised past the Puerto Ricans 96-71 in an exhibition game last month, but have since had trouble coming together as a team."


Posted by Darren at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

Brazil sets Women's Olympic Basketball Scoring Record

"Brazil set the women's Olympic basketball record for points and tied the mark for margin of victory with its 128-62 win over Japan on Saturday.

Alessandra Oliveira had 25 points and 13 rebounds to lead Brazil in its opening game. Helen Luz and Janeth Arcain, who played for Houston of the WNBA, each had 20 points for Brazil, which won the bronze medal in 2000 and the silver in 1996."

Read more at Brazil sets women's Olympic scoring record

Posted by Darren at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

Dream Team Opens Vs. Puerto Rico on Sunday

"The last time the United States and Puerto Rico met in a basketball game that meant something, a shoving match broke out and fans in San Juan threw drinks and debris onto the court. The episode happened last summer in a semifinal match at the Tournament of the Americas, one of five games between the teams in the past year.

"People got upset, and probably rightfully so, and it escalated," recalled Allen Iverson, one of three holdovers from the U.S. team that qualified for the Athens Games on that steamy night nearly a year ago in Puerto Rico.

The teams will play again Sunday night in one of six opening-round games on the first day of competition in men's basketball. The best game of the day, though, could be Serbia-Montenegro vs. Argentina in a rematch of the gold medal game at the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis."

Read more at Dream Team Opens Vs. Puerto Rico on Sunday

Posted by Darren at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2004

U.S. Women's Basketball Team Coast Past New Zealand 99-47

"The U.S. women's basketball team got just what it wanted from New Zealand in its Athens opener: a nice, easy tuneup for the rest of the Summer Games. With five players scoring in double figures, the Americans turned it on after a slow start and rolled past New Zealand 99-47 on Saturday.

Favored to win its third straight gold medal, the United States showed why, extending its Olympic winning streak to 18. New Zealand appeared well prepared but was no match for the Americans' athleticism, speed on the fast break, quick hands and feet on defense that resulted in 18 steals and six blocks."

Read more at U.S. Women Coast Past New Zealand 99-47

Posted by Darren at 11:57 PM | Comments (1)

Australia and China Win first Round Women's Basketball

"Lauren Jackson, the WNBA's MVP last season with Seattle, scored 27 points to lead Australia past Nigeria 85-73 to open the Olympic women's basketball tournament Saturday. Also, China defeated South Korea 71-54.

Nigeria, making its Olympic debut, trailed 62-44 entering the fourth quarter, but closed within 77-70. Nigeria then missed three of four free throws, and Jackson scored Australia's final six points to seal the win.

Penny Taylor, who plays for Phoenix in the WNBA, and Suzy Batkovic each had 11 points for Australia, which shot 50 percent from the field.

Australian won the silver medal in 2000.

In the other game, Chen Nan scored 17 points to lead China's domination on the boards."

Read more at Australia, China Win in Women's Hoops

Posted by Darren at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)

Team USA built for marketing more than winning

"How ironic that the Parthenon would be a backdrop for the U.S. men's basketball team during these Athens Olympics. Despite numerous attacks throughout its 2,500 years (it was nearly destroyed by a mortar shell fired by the invading Venetians in 1687), it somehow still stands as a testament to the engineering skills of its builders.

If only Team USA had been constructed so brilliantly. Instead its roster looks more like something thrown together by Zorba the Greek after an all-night ouzo bender. Too many small forwards. Not enough shooters. No backup point guard.

True, USA Basketball tried to put together a balanced team of NBA stars only to have nine of 12 players defect for reasons ranging from injury to security concerns. But Stu Jacksonand Co. must have misplaced the blueprint when it came to naming replacements."

Read more at Team USA built for marketing more than winning

Posted by Darren at 04:35 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Basketball - Acropolis Now as big guns roll into Athen

"The Olympic Games reflect international basketball's current rude health as stars from all over the globe descend on Athens. This year's competition promises to be the tightest of recent years as a shaky USA team take on an army of pretenders replete with household names.

The USA possess quality in spades, but still look to Allen Iversonand Tim Duncan to get things done. In a team bereft of outside shooters, Iverson will be relied upon to drain three-pointers, as he did in the last second to beat Germany.

Duncan's dexterity and posting-up ability are a plus for the US, but his on-court leadership will be more crucial, guiding a young and impetuous squad through a tough campaign."

Read more at Acropolis Now as big guns roll into Athen

Posted by Darren at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

LeBron James says experience with U.S. Olympic basketball team has made him more mature

"LeBron James, the youngest player on a very young U.S. basketball team, pronounced himself a changed man more mature, more worldly, more insightful during his first appearance on an Olympic stage at the Americans' opening news conference Friday.

"I've changed as a person. I believe I've matured on and off the court in the last three weeks," the 19-year-old said from a stage at the main press center, where he spent 40 minutes conversing with reporters during his team's first full day in Athens.

As the session progressed, James grew more comfortable discussing what he's learned during his pre-Olympic travels and over the course of a year in which he progressed from recent high school graduate to NBA Rookie of the Year to a representative of his country."

LeBron James says experience with U.S. Olympic basketball team has made him more mature

Posted by Darren at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

Limited time together is a worry for U.S. women's hoops team, but players confident in talent

"Basketball player Janeth Arcain left the WNBA's Houston Comets this season just to make sure the entire Brazilian Olympic team could train together before the Summer Games. Then there are the Russians. They've been together for most for the year. Ditto for the Czech Republic and several other teams. All of which is a major worry for the U.S. women, who had barely more than a week together before landing in Athens on Wednesday.

Still, there's one key area where the Americans feel they hold the edge.

"Definitely we're going to be the most talented team to take the court," said guard Dawn Staley, who carried the flag for the U.S. delegation in Friday night's opening ceremony. "We just have to make sure we're on all cylinders when we do that.""

Read more at Limited time together is a worry for U.S. women's hoops team, but players confident in talent .

Posted by Darren at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2004

Olympic Profile: Lauren Jackson

AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Albury, Australia
RESIDENCE: Canberra, Australia
AFFILIATION: Seattle Storm

HER STORY: The WNBA's reigning Most Valuable Player led the silver-medalist Aussies in rebounding and scoring during the 2000 Sydney Games. ... Her talent is in the genes -- both parents, Gary and Maree, played for Australia's national teams. ... Jackson is averaging 21 points (ranks No. 1 in WNBA) and 6.80 rebounds per game this season. ... She had 33 points against Washington July 17. ... Scored 25 points -- she had three 3-pointers -- and hauled in eight rebounds Aug. 1 against Charlotte as the Storm closed out the pre-Olympic portion of their schedule with a 17-8 record. ...

Continue reading Olympic Profile: Lauren Jackson

Posted by Darren at 04:54 PM | Comments (1)

Duncan Leads Team USA Past Feisty Turkish Squad

"After awakening to news of bombings in this ancient city, the U.S. Olympic basketball team decided to play on. And by the time the Americans finished an 80-68 victory over Turkey in front of a jeering and whistling crowd, they pronounced themselves ready for Athens but still jittery from the events of an anxious day.

The Americans final Olympic tuneup was similar to many others during an up-and-down tour through Europe. They were unable to dominate an opponent that figured to be vastly overmatched, but they got the job done in the end. What made this day different was a major off-the-court event that tested their focus. "

Read more at Duncan Leads Team USA Past Feisty Turkish Squad.

Posted by Darren at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2004

Opals and Boomers save best form for Athens

"Australia's men's and women's basketball squads have not even arrived in Athens yet but both teams will fly in on Wednesday brimming with confidence after completing their Olympic lead-up games in stunning fashion around Europe.

The Opals won the gold medal with a 74-70 victory over China in the final of the inaugural FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament in Heraklion, Greece, while the Boomers scored an impressive 66-59 win over hosts Italy - the team that defeated the US Dream Team last week - in a four-nation tournament in Reggio Calabria.

For the Opals it was a typically dominant performance by Lauren Jackson, scoring 24 points and dragging in 13 rebounds. But she was well supported and Trish Fallon finished with 13 points and eight boards.

"It was a great win against a very well-oiled and drilled Chinese team leading into the Olympics," four-time Olympian Sandy Brondello said. "While we still know we need to finetune a few things, we are very happy with where we are at and winning the first ever Diamond Ball Tournament is sensational.""

Read more at Opals and Boomers save best form for Athens

Posted by Darren at 08:07 PM | Comments (1)

This team isn't close to a Dream Team

"Seen enough yet? I have. Certainly, I've seen enough to know this isn't a Dream Team.

Dream Teams don't lose to Italy and need a mid-court prayer to beat Germany, which wasn't good enough to get to Athens. Dream Teams don't get overly excited about an 18-point, exhibition-game victory over Serbia-Montenegro. Dream Teams don't go to the Olympics thinking that winning, even by the slimmest of margins, is good enough.

Not our Dream Teams, anyway."

Read more at This team isn't close to a Dream Team.

Posted by Darren at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

Be wary of Olympic basketball officiating

"At the first day of practice for the US mens Olympic basketball team, which has already suffered a jarring loss to Italy in tune-up competition, and looked very poor in subsequent wins against Germany and Turkey, players were reminded that international officiating may often fall short of expectations, so accept the fact and move on. Lets assume I just made the worst call in America, assistant coach Gregg Popovich is quoted as telling the squad. Get used to it. No matter what call you get, get used to it.

For at least one historic Olympic call, however, there has never been any acceptance. It occurred in Munich, Germany, in 1972, and for anyone who witnessed it (as millions did on television, although none of the current US team members, all of whom are too young) the call will live in infamy."

Read more at Be wary of Olympic basketball officiating.

Posted by Darren at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2004

Australia defeats China - Women's Basketball

"WNBA star Lauren Jackson scored 24 points to help Australia beat China 74-70 in a thrilling final, winning FIBA Diamond Ball tournament on August 8 evening.

"I was satisfied with my players especially in the third period," said Chinese head coach Gong Luming."Their defense was good, but they were a little bit relaxed at the start of the last period."

With a 14-4 point run in the third period, China led Australia 55-53 and entered the last period 60-55.

However the Australian, headed by the MVP of last year's WNBA season Jackson, came back strongly with a 12-0 storm to take thelead again with 67-60 and seal the victory finally.

Jackson also contributed 13 rebounds for the Olympic defending bronze medalists, which were also joined by 2002 WNBA All-stars Penny Taylor, who added five points."

Continue reading Australia beat China to win Diamond Ball basketball

Posted by Darren at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

US defeat Turkey 79-67 - Men's Basketball

"One week before its opener at the Athens Games, the U.S. men's Olympic team took a step backward. The American team blew most of a 14-point fourth-quarter lead against a Turkish team missing Hedo Turkoglu, one of its two NBA players, before coming away with a 79-67 victory Sunday.

This was not an encouraging win for the Americans, who again struggled against a team that didn't even qualify for the Olympics just as happened earlier on their European trip against Germany.

A 19-8 run that included several 3-pointers narrowed Turkey's deficit to 68-65 with 3 1/2 minutes left before the U.S. team turned up its defensive pressure to close out the game."

Read more at U.S. basketball team struggles again, comes away with 79-67 exhibition win over Turkey .

Posted by Darren at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

U.S. Men's basketball team expects to strike Gold

"When Larry Brown agreed to coach the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team he lamented the fact it would be as big of a challenge as it was an honor.

But even the perpetually prepared Brown could not have imagined he would be saddled with so many issues in the fortnight leading up to this week's Olympic competition in Athens, Greece.

Already the U.S. team has had its aura of invincibility punctured by an embarrassing 95-78 exhibition defeat Tuesday to a lightly-regarded Italian team, the first such loss with professional players on the roster.

That loss came after team captain Allen Iverson, reigning NBA Rookie of the Year LeBron James and Phoenix Suns star Amare Stoudemire were suspended by Brown prior to the exhibition opener against Puerto Rico. All three were late to a team meeting."

Read more at Keeping the faith

Posted by Darren at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

Tab Baldwin takes responsibility for Tall Blacks loss

"New Zealand men's basketball coach Tab Baldwin accepted the blame for his team's 74-77 loss to Bulgaria in Yambol on Saturday.

Baldwin said the Tall Blacks had little knowledge of the unheralded Europeans.

"They were a lot stiffer competition than we expected," Baldwin said.

"We knew nothing about them. Our natural inclination was that they weren't as tough a side as the other European teams we've played before.

"But we have learned that anywhere you go in Europe, the kids play basketball.

"It's my fault. I didn't have the guys as primed as I should have. I'm a little disappointed in myself. We were guilty of focusing more on the Olympics and not the team that we are playing."

The Tall Blacks, who have won just one match - their first against Puerto Rico - during a pre-Olympic tour of Europe, found the going tough in the first half when they were down 33-40."

Read more at Baldwin takes rap for Tall Blacks loss

Posted by Darren at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2004

Lauren Jackson leads Australia to 75-57 win over Greece

"WNBA starLauren JACKSON scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Australian women's Basketball team to a comfortable 75-57win over Greece in the the FIBA Diamond Ball tournament in Heraklio, Crete.

On court for just 29 minutes, the dominating Seattle Storm centre was ably supported by veteran forward Trish FALLON (14 points) as the Sydney Olympic Games silver medallists lifted their intensity to take control of the game in the second half. The Opals led 21-20 after the first period and 44-38 at half-time beforeusing their dominance on the boards (50-33) to shut down the Greek offence."

Read more at JACKSON leads Australia to 75-57 win over Greece.

Posted by Darren at 11:34 PM | Comments (3)

Larry Brown Struggling to Connect with Team

"Larry Brown's face turned redder and redder as he lamented the demise of American basketball, the disinterest of Gen X and the dangers of overconfidence.

To say Brown was at his wit's end in the wee hours Friday would only begin to describe his feelings.

"They don't get it," he said repeatedly, shaking his head in a mixture of disgust and foreboding.

U.S. basketball players, from left, Emeka Okafor of the Charlotte Bobcats, and Phoenix Suns players Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion, listen to head coach Larry Brown, front, during a practice in Cologne, Western Germany, on Monday. The team is preparing for the Olympics in Athens.

When someone suggested the U.S. Olympic team could lose by 20 points in its exhibition game against Serbia-Montenegro, Brown didn't blanch.

"It might be like that at halftime," he said."

Read more at Brown struggling to connect with team 08/08/04.

Posted by Darren at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

Carlos Boozer Selected to US Olympics Basketball Team

"Another Alaskan appears to be headed to the Summer Olympics in Greece -- basketball star Carlos Boozer of Juneau.

Boozer is expected to be named to Dream Team IV, the fourth edition of the team since the United States began using NBA stars instead of amateurs for the Olympics. This time around, the U.S. team is somewhat of a recurring Dream Team, with almost every week bringing changes to the roster as superstars like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett pull out for reasons ranging from security concerns to personal conflicts.

Boozer is reportedly among those benefitting from the withdrawal of other players. The second-year pro for the Cleveland Cavaliers is expected to be named to the U.S. team later this week by USA Basketball.

Though neither USA Basketball nor the Cavaliers have confirmed the reports, Boozer's high school basketball coach in Juneau said it's a done deal.

"He called me last Thursday and he told me,'' said George Houston, who coached Boozer at Juneau-Douglas High School, told the Juneau Empire. "He's pretty pumped.''

Further confirmation came from LeBron James via the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio. James, the NBA's rookie of the year and a teammate of Boozer's in Cleveland, was named to the Olympic team last month."

Read more at Boozer selected for Olympic team .

Posted by Darren at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

Olympic Opals take a shine to mesmerised Korea

"THE Australian women's basketball team recorded a comfortable 84-59 win over Korea in their first game of the inaugural FIBA Diamond Ball tournament yesterday.

The game was the first time the Opals' entire Olympic team has been together since it was announced by the Australian Olympic Committee in July.

Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor joined their teammates in Heraklion on August 3 with the WNBA in the US breaking for the Athens Olympics.

The tournament provides important preparation for the Opals, who are keen to get as many games under their belts now the whole team is finally together. The Australians' size dominated the Koreans, reflected in the rebounding stats of 50-22 in the Opals' favour.

Jackson's individual tally of 20 points was impressive on its own, but was achieved in less than 21 minutes of court time showing that she really will be the player to watch in the Olympic tournament."

Read more at Olympic Opals take a shine to mesmerised Korea.

Posted by Darren at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2004

Team U.S.A. does a number on All-Stars

"The International Olympic Committee could save time and just ship the womens basketball gold medals to this country via UPS or Federal Express.

The United States womens national teams quest for its third consecutive Olympic gold medal earned rave reviews, standing ovations and curtain calls from a packed house inside Radio City Music Hall Thursday night.

The U.S. ballers served notice to the world that it is going to be difficult to dethrone when the Olympics commence next week by turning the much-anticipated "Game at Radio City" into the "Rout at Radio City" by blasting the WNBA All-Stars, 74-58, in a womens basketball mismatch."

Read more Team U.S.A. does a number on All-Stars .

Posted by Darren at 12:27 AM | Comments (2)

August 06, 2004

U.S. needs Iverson heave to beat Germany

"Things are not looking good for the NBA stars on the U.S. Olympic basketball team. The Americans needed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Allen Iverson from just across midcourt Wednesday to pull out an 80-77 exhibition victory over Germany - a team that failed to even qualify for the Athens Games.

A day after losing 95-78 to unheralded Italy, the United States celebrated a last-gasp triumph against Germany as though they had won an NBA championship. When Iverson's second 3-pointer in the final 1 1/2 minutes went through the net, two-time league MVP Tim Duncan raised a finger to the sky as if to say, "We're No. 1!" Other team members piled atop Iverson on the court.

Iverson has said in the past that he has never made a game-winning shot at the buzzer at any level: high school, college or pros."

Read more at U.S. needs Iverson heave to beat Germany.

Posted by Darren at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

US defeats New Zealand - Men's Basketball

"A young United States team routed New Zealand 94-68 in a pre-Olympic men's basketball scrimmage but US coach Larry Brown was concerned about lapses that could mean losses in Athens.

Tim Duncan scored 16 points while Amare Stoudamire and Dwayne Wade each had 14 for a National Basketball Association squad that lacked starting guard Allen Iverson, out with a finger sprain, and forward Carlos Boozer, away on business.

"We had no Al and no Carlos. I'm worried who will settle them down," Brown said. "This is kind of a setback right now. But they're energy level is up and they have done the things they have to do."

New Zealand, led by 17 points from Phil Jones, went on an 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter, which the Kiwis won 31-25, and settled for a 16-16 draw in the second only because US forward Lamar Odom made a tip-in at the buzzer."

Read mLapses haunt US Olympic squad despite rout of Kiwis.

Posted by Darren at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

US Men's Basketball Team Confusion

"After two games of their pre-Olympic swing through Europe, it's already clear that the U.S. men's basketball team lacks experience, doesn't have many great shooters, isn't all that tall and is a month behind the competition in terms of preparation.

Now, they're about to face the defending world champions. And after listening to what the players and coach said Thursday, it's a safe bet that things could get worse before they get better.

"We've basically been trying to just pass, pass, pass to the point where we've been overpassing, because we're trying to play the right way, the way our coach wants to play," Stephon Marbury said. "But there has to -- there's going to be -- a break-off , where we're just going to have to take those shots that we normally take and make."

Marbury's comments appeared to be a telltale sign that the U.S. players still aren't on the same page with the coaches."

Read more at - World champs await confused U.S. men

Posted by Darren at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

WNBA Allstars to challenge US Olympic Team - Women's Basketball

"The WNBA on Monday began its one-month hiatus to accommodate the Olympics in Athens, Greece.

But the league isn't quite done playing.

The WNBA will hold a unique version of its annual All-Star Game tonight (4 p.m., ESPN), featuring the U.S. women's national team against the best non-Olympians in the league. The game, from Radio City Music Hall in New York, will be the U.S. players' final appearance in the United States before they take off for Salamanca, Spain, for a pre-Olympic tournament with Spain, Poland and France.

While All-Star Games typically feature dazzling offense and little defense, the game tonight could be a departure because the U.S. team has just nine practices scheduled before it begins play in Athens on Aug. 14 against New Zealand."

Read more at All-Stars to give Olympians test

Posted by Darren at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2004

US defeat Germany - Men's Basketball

"Things are not looking good for the NBA stars on the U.S. Olympic basketball team. The Americans needed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Allen Iverson from just across midcourt Wednesday to pull out an 80-77 exhibition victory over Germany - a team that failed to even qualify for the Athens Games.

A day after losing 95-78 to unheralded Italy, the United States celebrated a last-gasp triumph against Germany as though they had won an NBA championship. When Iverson's second 3-pointer in the final 1 1/2 minutes went through the net, two-time league MVP Tim Duncan raised a finger to the sky as if to say, "We're No. 1!" Other team members piled atop Iverson on the court.

Iverson has said in the past that he has never made a game-winning shot at the buzzer at any level: high school, college or pros.

The Germans' top player, Dallas Mavericks All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, appeared to have sent the game to overtime by making a 3-pointer over two defenders to tie the score at 77 with 3.2 seconds left."

Continue reading U.S. needs last-second shot to edge Germany

Posted by Darren at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2004

US Men's Basketball Team Defeated by Italy

"The U.S. men's team got off to a nightmare start in their campaign to reclaim their title as the world's top basketball team in Athens, losing an Olympic warm-up 95-78 against Italy on Tuesday.

Italy's smooth team play overwhelmed the cold-shooting, error-prone NBA all-stars, shocking U.S. coach Larry Brown and 14,800 spectators in Cologne.

The U.S. team, who have gone 24-0 in Olympic matches and taken three gold medals since professional NBA players began competing in 1992, were beaten three times at the 2002 world championships in Indianapolis and finished a dismal sixth.

Brown has vowed to avenge that performance in the American team's heartland two years ago but the uninspiring showing against Italy seemed to confirm fears that the days of U.S. invincibility in the game they invented are all but over.

"We have a lot of young players who learned a lesson tonight," said Brown, whose team face Germany on Wednesday in another exhibition. "There are great players and great coaches around the world."

Read more at Italy Stuns U.S. in Athens Basketball Warm-Up and at Italy Upsets U.S. 95-78 in Men's Hoops.

Posted by Darren at 10:47 AM | Comments (2)

August 03, 2004

Australian defeats Czech Republic - Women's Basketball

"Czech Republic 46 Australia 57
AUSTRALIA's women's basketball team gained revenge in their second and final game of the pre-Olympic series in Brno today.

Veteran forward Rachael Sporn's return helped the Opals, who losing game one by nine points the previous evening.

Sporn, who was rested for game one with of a minor shoulder injury, started tonight and her experience made a huge difference.

It allowed Suzy Batkovic to come off the bench and, after struggling in recent matches, she came to the fore with 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals in her 23 minutes.

The key to the Opals' win was a solid third quarter, when they built on a five-point halftime lead."

continue reading Sporn's return lifts Opals.

Posted by Darren at 11:33 PM | Comments (0)

Serbia and Montenegro defeats Australian - Men's Baskeball

"Serbia and Montenegro 79 Australia 61

SERBIA and Montenegro gave the Boomers a pre-Olympic reality check at the FIBA Diamond Ball tournament in Belgrade today.

Serbia and Montenegro have won the past two world basketball championships and showed why they are likely to be the team to beat at the Olympics.

"We were given a basketball lesson tonight," said Boomers head coach Brian Goorjian.

"We were beaten all over the court - both offensively and defensively."

Continue Reading Boomers 'given basketball lesson'

Posted by Darren at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

Janeth Arcain Hopes for Gold Medal - Women's Basketball

"At 35, Brazilian basketball player Janeth Arcain has won most contests in her professional life, ranging from the So Paulo State tournament to the Brazilian championship to four WNBA titles in the United States. She has never won an Olympics gold medal, however, and hopes to change this in Athens, this year."

Continue reading WNBA Champion Prefers Brazil's Olympic Team.

Posted by Darren at 08:41 AM | Comments (5)

U.S. Olympic basketball team preaches teamwork

"Ever since the United States finished sixth at the 2002 World Basketball Championships, the list of that team's shortcomings has been dissected, from poor fundamentals to sloppy teamwork.

For U.S. Olympic basketball coach Larry Brown, whose team is starting a pre-games European road trip, the key is forging his talented squad into a cohesive unit.

"This is a very young team that hasn't played together, but they're getting better," the Detroit Pistons' coach said. "But we aren't a team yet. We have two weeks to become a team. We've got a lot of work ahead."

The Americans open in Athens on Aug. 15 against Puerto Rico. They'll work toward preparing for that by playing Tuesday against Italy, which finished fifth at the Sydney Games.

"We have to be the best team at the Olympics in rebounding and defense. You don't have to have played together forever to accomplish that," Brown said."

Continue reading U.S. Olympic basketball team preaches teamwork as key to gold following 2002 embarrassment .

Posted by Darren at 08:23 AM | Comments (2)

Yi Jianlian - Next big thing in Basketball

"The next big thing to come out of China is Yi Jianlian, a teenager nearly 7-feet tall who has already worked his way into the national team's starting lineup alongside Yao Ming.

''He's better than me at 16. He can jump,'' Yao said. ''If he keeps working hard, he can make it big.''

That potential has already been recognized by China coach Del Harris, an assistant with the NBA's Dallas Mavericks who was hired by Chinese sports authorities to help turn the team into a medal contender for the Athens Olympics.

Immediately recognizing Yi's potential, Harris decided that bringing him along slowly was not the way to go."

Continue reading Chinese teen touted as the next Yao.

Posted by Darren at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2004

US Men's Basketball Team - Time to move past Suspensions

" Larry Brown wants to move on. The U.S. Olympic basketball coach said Sunday that the suspension of Allen Iverson, LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire is forgotten. He would rather focus on a tough road trip against some of Europe's top teams leading up the Athens Olympics.

Brown refused to let Iverson, James and Stoudemire play in the team's 96-71 win over Puerto Rico on Saturday, punishment for the trio showing up late for a team meeting.

"It won't happen again. They'll play the next game and some will start," Brown said.

The U.S. squad arrived in Germany on Sunday, shook off the jet lag and held its first practice.

And Brown is having some second thoughts about whether this series of exhibitions, which includes a game against world champion Serbia and Montenegro, is ideal for his team."

Continue reading Focusing on U.S. Olympic team's tough road trip, Brown wants to move past suspensions.

Posted by Darren at 05:57 PM | Comments (3)

Brown rethinking U.S. Olympic team's tough road trip

"Larry Brown wants to move on.

The U.S. Olympic basketball coach said Sunday that the suspension of Allen Iverson, LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire is forgotten. He would rather focus on a tough road trip against some of Europe's top teams leading up the Athens Olympics.

Brown refused to let Iverson, James and Stoudemire play in the team's 96-71 win over Puerto Rico on Saturday, punishment for the trio showing up late for a team meeting.

"It won't happen again. They'll play the next game and some will start," Brown said.

The U.S. squad arrived in Germany on Sunday, shook off the jet lag and held its first practice.

And Brown is having some second thoughts about whether this series of exhibitions, which includes a game against world champion Serbia and Montenegro, is ideal for his team."

Continue reading Brown rethinking U.S. Olympic team's tough road trip.

Posted by Darren at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2004

Serbia Montenegro beat China in basketball Olympic warm-up

Serbia Montenegro beat China in basketball Olympic warm-up
"Yao Ming scored a game high 21 points for China but Serbia and Montenegro eventually pulled away to win their first game of the Diamond Ball Tournament on Saturday,the FIBA website reported.

Playing after Argentina's victory over Angola, the world champions triumphed 92-78 against China now coached by American Del Harris.

Houston Rockets star Yao Ming, one of the top centers on show at the Olympics in August, also hauled down seven boards addition to the 21 points while Seattle Sonics power forward Vladimir Radmanovic had 16 points to pace the Serbia and Montenegro.

China gave as good as they got up to half-time, when the score was tied at 42-42, but the hosts took command over the next 10 minutes.

Zeljko Obradovic's team, who are playing without Sacramento Kings ace Peja Stojakovic and Atlanta Hawks center Zeljko Rebraca this summer - Stojakovic had other commitments while Rebraca is hurt - outscored the Chinese 29-11 in the third quarter and cruised home.

Serbia and Montenegro captain Dejan Bodiroga and Nenad Krstic had 12 points apiece for the winners."

Posted by Darren at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

US defeats Puerto Rico - Men's Basketball Lead up Match

"Allen Iverson and Larry Brown got their first Olympic tiff out of the way Saturday, and the American team defeated Puerto Rico 96-71 despite missing Iverson, LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire because of suspensions.

Brown, often at odds with Iverson during their six years together with the Philadelphia 76ers, scratched The Answer and the other two for missing a team meeting earlier in the day.

They sat on the end of the bench and watched their nine teammates put in a hot-and-cold effort to be expected from a group of players who are just getting to know each other and were further hamstrung by the suspensions."

Source - U.S. Hoops Wins Despite 3 Suspensions

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM | Comments (0)

July 31, 2004

Are the US Men's Basketball Team Beatable?

"The world is closing the gap on the U.S., making this year's Olympic team vulnerable.

When USA Basketball consented to sending professionals to the Olympics in 1992, the idea was to showcase the NBA elite and remind the world that America had no equal as a hoops superpower.

But in the decade since that Dream Team blew out opponents by ridiculous margins and brought the NBA unprecedented global exposure, the United States has seen its dominance gradually diminish. So much so that for the first time entering a Summer Games, it's no slam dunk that Team USA will capture the gold medal next month in Athens.

"I have that fear right now," said U.S. assistant coach and North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, when asked about the possibility of losing at the Olympics.

As the American team concludes its first week of practice today with a 1 p.m. exhibition game against Puerto Rico at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, head coach Larry Brown and his staff keep reminding their players that the USA's days of invincibility are over."

Read more at America the beatable?

Posted by Darren at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

US defeats New Zealand - Men's Basketball

"A young United States team routed New Zealand 94-68 in a pre-Olympic men's basketball scrimmage but US coach Larry Brown was concerned about lapses that could mean losses in Athens.

Tim Duncan scored 16 points while Amare Stoudamire and Dwayne Wade each had 14 for a National Basketball Association squad that lacked starting guard Allen Iverson, out with a finger sprain, and forward Carlos Boozer, away on business.

"We had no Al and no Carlos. I'm worried who will settle them down," Brown said. "This is kind of a setback right now. But they're energy level is up and they have done the things they have to do."

New Zealand, led by 17 points from Phil Jones, went on an 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter, which the Kiwis won 31-25, and settled for a 16-16 draw in the second only because US forward Lamar Odom made a tip-in at the buzzer."

Read mLapses haunt US Olympic squad despite rout of Kiwis.

Posted by Darren at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

US defeat Puerto Rico

'In a scrimmage called "Hoops for Troops," with the stands packed with military personnel, the USA Olympic men's basketball team routed Puerto Rico, 102-76, at the University of North Florida on Thursday afternoon.

The Puerto Ricans will be the presumed tomato can at the Americans' lone official exhibition on home ground Saturday at Veterans Memorial Arena here. In between, the USA will scrimmage New Zealand at UNF today.

Tim Duncan led the USA with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Lamar Odom had a game-high nine rebounds, as the USA played volleyball on the boards, outrebounding Puerto Rico, 42-12.

The Cavaliers' LeBron James scored 10 points in 22 minutes on 4-of-6 from the field. James had the two most crowd-pleasing baskets, both on dunks, both on breakaways.'

Read more at USA mighty vs. Puerto Rico

Posted by Darren at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2004

Australian Women's Basketball Team Defeats Belgium

"The Australian women's basketball team has had a nine-point win over Belgium in Spain.

After a slow start, the Opals trailed by 15 points but closed to within six 23-29 at half-time and went on to win 65-56.

Veterans Sandy Brondello (15 points), Trish Fallon (14) and Kristi Harrower (9) all played key roles, as the Australians fought their way back into the match.

Worryingly, the Opals' shooting was poor, recording only 29 per cent from the field. They compensated for this with an intensive effort in defence that put the Belgians under pressure."

Read more at Veterans shine as Opals down Belgians .

Posted by Darren at 04:54 PM | Comments (1)

July 29, 2004

US Men's Basketball team - Young but Talented

"They're young. They're inexperienced. They're not the names, at least most of them, anyone expected the United States to send to Athens.

Still, when the 2004 Olympics begin in a little more than 2 weeks, the United States will be the favorite to win the gold medal in men's basketball.

Certainly, the NBA and USA Basketball should be disturbed and a bit embarrassed by the number of players who bailed out on their commitments to represent the United States in the Olympics.

And if the complete roster that qualified for the games by winning the Tournament of the Americas last summer were going to Athens, Team USA would be considered a lock to win its fourth straight Olympic gold.

But the pool of talent for the United States is as deep as the Marianas Trench."

Read more at Grand Forks Herald | 07/28/2004 | Brown turns to KISS formula.

Posted by Darren at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

Peja Stojakovic won't play for Serbia and Montenegro

"Peja Stojakovic said Wednesday he will not play for Serbia and Montenegro at the Athens Olympics, depriving the defending world champions of their best perimeter scorer.

The three-time NBA All-Star said he was tired and that his decision is irreversible even though people in his homeland are urging him to change his mind.

"No way. I already spoke with the team officials. We talked about it, and it's done," Stojakovic told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I'm not going to go."

Stojakovic will be in Greece during the Olympics, fulfilling the end of a three-month stint in the Greek army. He holds duel citizenship in Greece and Serbia and Montenegro."

Source - Stojakovic Won't Play in Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

Manu Ginobili - Busy Athens Olympics Lead up

"For many NBA players, the summer months provide time to recover from a grueling schedule and get ready for the upcoming season. Not Manu Ginobili.

In the space of three weeks, Argentina's biggest basketball star has gotten married, signed a 6-year, $52 million contract to stay with the San Antonio Spurs and started training hard amid hopes of leading his country to a medal at the Athens Olympics.

He's still taking some time out to celebrate his 27th birthday on Wednesday, sort of. He has to gobble down his cake just as Argentina begins a pre-Olympic tour of Europe.

With the Olympics set to begin Aug. 13, the 6-foot-6 guard said he looks forward to getting a chance to play, and beat, Spurs teammate Tim Duncan and the rest of the U.S. team."

Read more at Ginobili hopes for an Olympic medal with Argentina

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2004

USA Basketball team

Want to know who the USA is sending to play basketball this year and a bit more about them read on.

The USA's basketball team is made up of some of the biggest names in the sport - or so the theory goes.
After the last Olympics there was talk that the "Dream Team" concept was going to be consigned to the past.

However, following a poor showing at the 2002 World Championships, where the USA finished a disappointing sixth, the National Basketball Association decided to send its "top possible" team.

Full Profiles Souce BBC

Posted by at 01:38 AM | Comments (1)

July 27, 2004

Carmelo Anthony - 'US will win Men's Basketball Gold'

"Carmelo Anthony has a message for Argentina, Lithuania and the other best basketball teams from around the world: The United States is going to win at the Athens Games.

"We're guaranteeing a gold medal. We're bringing it back," Anthony boldly predicted Monday on his first day of practice with the U.S. national team.

It took very little prodding for Anthony to basically repeat what he said last week on David Letterman's late-night television talk show. It betrayed a level of youthful cockiness that might seem at odds with one of the main messages the American coaching staff tried to get across at the team's welcome dinner Sunday night: Respect the competition."

Read more at Anthony Guarantees Hoops Gold for U.S. (

Posted by Darren at 11:32 AM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2004

US Basketball Team Camp

After being shunned by many of the NBA's biggest stars, the US Olympic team are getting tgoether for a training camp to prepare for the Olympic competition.

"This will not be a Dream Team. A more fitting moniker might be the "I Have a Dream" team. America's most eager good players will lace up their sneakers and don "USA" jerseys as training camp opens Monday for the Olympic men's basketball team, but most of the best players from the birthplace of basketball won't be in attendance.

"The players we have here want to be here. That's important," said Jim Tooley, the executive director of USA Basketball. "I think that'll go a long way."

Rejection has been the recurring theme for Tooley over the past several months as one superstar after another withdrew or turned down an invitation to represent the United States in Athens." Read More at U.S. basketball team to open training camp.

Posted by Darren at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2004

US Basketball Team gets a shock

Detroit Shock coach Bill Laimbeer was happy USA Basketball added center Ruth Riley to the Olympic team, but he was especially pleased with the selection process.

"I'm very happy the committee chose a player from the pool of players who tried out," Laimbeer said, referring to players who had worked out and played with the Olympic team. "It's great for her and the organization. Nobody will enjoy the Olympic experience more than Ruth."

Riley replaces Los Angeles Sparks forward Delisha Milton-Jones who is out with a knee injury.


Posted by Regan at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2004

Nigeria's Women's Basketball Team Warms up Against US Military Team

Nigeria's women's basketball team are preparing for the Athens Olympics by playing whatever opposition they can find - including a US military all star team.

'The European women�s U.S. all-stars weren�t much of a match for the Nigerian women�s Olympic basketball team in an 83-26 loss Friday night....

The Nigerians, champions of Africa and the only women�s team from the continent to qualify for next month�s Athens Games, decided to work on their full-court press after halftime, forcing turnovers and steals during a 32-2 third-quarter run.

�This isn�t the kind of game we need to get us ready for the Olympics,� Nigeria�s Mactabene Amachree said, �but we have what we have. After this we�re going to Turkey. They�ll give us some games.�' Read More at Nigerian women�s team routs military all-stars

Posted by Darren at 09:27 PM | Comments (2)

July 14, 2004

China Wins in Men's Basketball Tournament

'China beat Croatia 92-55 in an exciting high-scoring and quality match to win the four-nation men's basketball tournament here on Sunday.

China raced to a 6-1 lead in the first five minutes. Li Nan and Yao Ming combined to scored all of China's next six field goals to extend the lead to 19-8.

"This is the best game we played in these three days,"said Del Harris, head coach of China. "It is good for us to compete with a good physical basketball team like Croatia and Brazil. The matches against them gave us good experiences like boxing matches."' Source - China wins four-nation basketball tournament

Posted by Darren at 11:33 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2004

Australian Men's Basketball Team Beat New Zealand

The Australian Men's Basketball team have continued their Olympics warm up with a win against New Zealand's team 90-79. This brings the series against New Zealand to a close with Australia winning 2-1.

'With just over four weeks left until the Boomers open the Olympic tournament with a showdown against host-nation Greece, Brian Goorjian's new-look team proved too strong for the Tall Blacks in a physical series in New Zealand.' Source - Boomers claim series win against NZ

Posted by Darren at 12:01 PM | Comments (2)

July 10, 2004

Australian Women's Basketball Team Returns to Form

Australia's women's basketball team, the Opals, returned to winning form yesterday in China where they beat Serbia Montenegro 86 - 57.

'"This game saw the Opals recapture their form from both the World Challenge in North Queensland and the series against China in Sydney last month," said coach Jan Stirling.

"The selection of our team for Athens simply becomes more difficult as each of these players prove themselves as serious contenders."

Suzy Batkovic continued to impress and was again the Opals' top scorer with 15 points and eight rebounds.'

Source - Opals recapture best form

Posted by Darren at 10:17 AM | Comments (4)

July 09, 2004

Emeka Okafor Joins US Olympic Basketball Team

Emeka Okafor has been selected to fill the final spot in the US Olympic Basketball team to compete in the Athens Olympics in August.

'"I came off a national championship, and now I have a chance to get a gold medal," he said. "That's one of the reasons I jumped at this opportunity. I'm really looking forward to it."

Okafor, the second overall pick in the NBA draft by the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, was officially added to the team along with Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Lamar Odom and Dwyane Wade.' Read more at - Okafor rounds out U.S. Olympic basketball team

Posted by Darren at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2004

China's Basketball Team Announced

China has announced it's men's basketball team for the Athens Olympics in August.

'Houston Rockets center Yao Ming will lead a 12-member Chinese basketball team to the Athens Olympics.

The Chinese team will also include Menk Bateer of the San Antonio Spurs....

Besides Yao and Menk Bateer, the squad includes Liu Wei, Zhu Fangyu, Du Feng, Guo Shiqiang, Yi Jianlian, Li Nan, Chen Ke, Zhang Jingsong, Mo Ke and Zhang Yunsong.' Source - China names basketball team for Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2004

Australian Women's Basketball Team Beaten by Chinese

Australian's women's basketball team, the Opals, have suffered another defeat to the Chinese in their lead up to the Athens Olympic Games. The score was 79 - 60.

'The convincing winning margin was due largely to a strong second-half by the Chinese, who outscored the Opals 41-26 after the halftime break.

Suzy Batkovic was on fire for the Opals with a top score of 17, but early foul trouble left the team with limited options inside the key as China outmuscled the Australians forcing poor shot selection.

This enabled the Asian champions to generate their offensive transition game for which they are renowned.

China's superior shooting percentage (62 per cent from the field) in addition to 20 of 24 foul shots compared to the Opals seven of eight, always meant that the Australians were in catch-up mode.

A crowd of some 4000 spurred the Chinese team on midway through the last quarter when Sydney's silver medallists reduced the deficit to less than 10 points.'

Source - Batkovic best as Opals crash

Posted by Darren at 12:30 PM | Comments (1)

July 03, 2004

Should NBA stars go to the Athens Olympic Games

Should NBA players selected for the Athens Olympics go to the Games this coming August. A number of high profile players have rejected their selection, mainly siting security concerns. The debate rages as this excerpt from a column shows:

'There are those who will look at Wallace and Hamilton and the rest as ungrateful, spoiled millionaires who have just insulted the nation that has allowed them to attain fame and fortune.

On a strictly emotional level, it is a difficult argument to challenge. What loyal American, having tasted this nation's bounties, could pass up a chance to wear the Red, White and Blue on the world stage?...

But on an intellectual level, you have to know that they made the right decision.

First of all, the Olympics are a myth, a sham created by profiteers who belong to the self-appointed, self-regulated Olympic organization, and the TV network that spends billions to make millions on competitions, the outcomes of which are pretty much pre-determined anyway.

And all you need to know about Olympic officiating can be learned by watching film of the 1972 basketball finals, where an offcourt official overruled the on-court referees twice, forcing replays until Russia had finally managed to upset the U.S. team.

The Olympics are a myth, pure and simple. They don't stand for anything more than the money the athletes, sponsors, committee members and networks can make off of them.'

Source - Don't blame NBA stars for skipping Olympics

Posted by Darren at 08:51 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2004

USA basketball team taking shape

The NBA season may only just be over but it look's like it's taken it's toll on some of the stars and they won't be there in Athens.

Emeka Okafor, the second player taken in this week's NBA draft, has accepted an offer to play for the US Olympic basketball team in Athens.

Ben Wallace,Richard Hamilton,Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal have all turned it down.

The team will be coached by Detroit's Larry Brown, who took the Pistons to the NBA title this season.

Source BBC Okafor gets Athens call-up

Posted by at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2004

Step one for Olympic hopefuls

A 25-man Tall Blacks squad begins its first pre-Olympic camp in Whangarei with the squad to be cut to 15 by Monday.

Source - Basketball - Step one for Olympic hopefuls

Posted by Regan at 10:40 AM | Comments (1)

June 28, 2004

Australian Boomers In Form

Australian Mens Basketball team, the Boomers, will head to Athens in reasonable form after a 3-2 win/loss ratio in a European Tour. In their last match, played in Italy, Australia beat Croatia 82 - 73.

'It was the Boomers' second win over Croatia and they also achieved a 31-point thrashing of Olympic silver medallist France (90-59) earlier in the tournament.

The major disappointments for the new-look Boomers were the two tight losses to Italy � both by under six points. ' Source - Nielsen Boomers' best

Posted by Darren at 11:00 PM | Comments (5)

June 26, 2004

Apathy Keeps NBA Stars Away from Athens

Elko Daily Free Press has an interesting opinion piece on the lack of participation of some of the NBA stars who will not be attending the Athens Olympics. Many are saying that they will not compete due to security reasons - however this writer believes it may be due to another reason - Apathy.

'If this were an AAU tournament, I could see not wanting to participate. If you were playing for T-shirts and per-diem at a 3-on-3 tourney, skip it.

But this is the Olympics; more specifically, this is an opportunity to represent your country and your fellow countrymen on the grandest stage, in front the rest of the world. How one passes up such an honor is beyond me.

I take that back - I do understand what moves these men to turn their backs on their country, I just don't agree with the philosophy. Money is all that drvies these guys. After all, these businessmen have to consider the fact they won't be making a dime when they put themselves on the line for something as trivial as national pride.

Source - Elko Daily Free Press

Posted by Darren at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)

Emeka Okafor Will Play in US Basketball Team

'Emeka Okafor said yesterday he'll play for the U.S. Olympics basketball team - a decision that his new NBA employer wishes he'd rethink.Okafor said he was chosen from among the finalists for the team's last roster spot and has accepted the invitation to play in Athens later this summer.'

Source - Okafor will play in Olympics - Bobcats' Bickerstaff unhappy

Posted by Darren at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2004

Australian Mens Basketball Team Wins First Game

The Australian National Mens Basketball Team (the boomers) have won their first game in the lead up to the Athens Olympics. Last night they beat Croatia 90-56 when they played in Italy last night.

'Coach Brian Goorjian has assembled a vastly different team from the one that finished fourth in Sydney and is giving all players a chance to show their worth before the final Olympic squad is announced next month.'

Posted by Darren at 04:04 PM | Comments (5)

June 24, 2004

Ben Wallace and Richard Hamilton Withdraw from Olympics

'NBA stars Ben Wallace and Richard Hamilton have pulled out of the US Olympic team for Athens, citing safety concerns among their reasons.' Source - NBA pair refuse Athens call

Posted by Darren at 09:18 PM | Comments (1)

May 08, 2004

Athens Olympics Basketball Events and Results


Athens Olympic Basketball

Basketball at the Athens Olympics will be held over 11 days from the 14th - 24th August. It will be held in two venues - beginning in the Indoor Stadium for preliminary games and then moving to the Olympic Indoor Hall for finals.

At the Sydney Olympics the US took out both Men's and Women's Basketball Gold Medals and it is tipped that they will do so again in Athens. In the women's basketball competition pressure will come from Australia and Brazil whilst in men's competition it is likely to come from teams including Lithuania, France, Russia, China and Yugoslavia.

We will publish Gold, Silver and Bronze medal results in both Men's and Women's Basketball events at Men's Basketball Medals and Results and Women's Basketball Medals and Results as they come to hand. In the mean time get the latest Olympic Basketball News in our Basketball News Archives

Related Olympic Basketball Links

- BBC - Olympics Basketball
- ESPN - Olympics Basketball
- Fox Sports - Athens Olympic Basketball
- NBC - Athens Olympics - Basketball
- Basketball for Beginners
- FIBA - International Basketball Federation

Posted by Darren at 03:06 PM | Comments (20)

Australian Idol
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