I’m probably enjoying it a little too much, but watching Ricky Rubio and Spain struggle in the FIBA Worlds has been more entertaining than it probably should be. I suppose I view them as a sports rival now, thanks to the 2008 Gold Medal game. With that in mind, it’s safe to say I enjoyed Lithuania beating Spain, giving them their second loss in group play, and threatening their chances of advancing to the knock-out rounds.
Perhaps the defining play of the game was when Mantas Kalnietis, on an inbounds play, caught Rubio not paying attention, bounced the ball off his back and proceeded to hit a layup while a perplexed Rubio looked on, hanging his head.
That, sir, is not the kind of attention to detail on defense you need if you want your team to advance — especially in a tight, competitive game.
The question I have concerning Spain is, was their close loss to the Team USA’s “B team” during the exhibition portion of the FIBA World’s the high point for that squad? A close loss is still a loss, and no team should put that much stock into taking a group of NBA players to the wire, unless it’s Angola, circa 1992. The days of moral victories against the United States should be a thing of the past, specifically, when teams like Spain are involved.
We’re suckers for NBA Summer League basketball, and it’s becoming something of an epidemic. Granted, the play is NOTHING like what you’ll see in this fall and winter from the seasoned professionals, but it does allow us to fantasize about how a new player (Or a younger one who didn’t get a lot of clock the previous season. See Randolph, Anthony.) will fit in the upcoming season.
With that in mind, allow me to bask in the glory of Jonny Flynn and his eye-popping athletic ability, something he demonstrated quite nicely with a nasty windmill dunk against the Chicago Bulls summer team. Of course, with the Ricky Rubio drama still going on, it’s hard to tell exactly what Minnesota has planned for their two rookie point guards; especially if Rubio’s European contract is bought out.
For some reason — Flynn is listed at 6 feet tall, while Rubio is 6-4 — I don’t see these two forming the starting backcourt. Unless, of course, stopping the other team’s isn’t that big of premium in the Twin Cities. For now, we can simply enjoy the skill and ability Flynn brings to the game. Here’s hoping an ugly relationship, predicated on Rubio’s handling, doesn’t spoil what looks like a promising NBA career.
Is this what Sade was talking about in her classic slow jam? James Harden rocking a pimp-ass bow tie at the NBA Draft? Because if it wasn’t, it damn well should be. In other Oklahoma City Thunder draft news, one would think Russell “You Trippin’” Westbrook is all kinds of happy knowing he won’t have Ricky Rubio — Entitled, much? — peering over his shoulder. I, for one, see Westbrook’s point. I, too, would rather have the proven Harden as a running mate instead of the flavor of the month Rubio, who, while having all kinds of passing potential, looks like he could be a liability because of his shooting prowess.
The NBA Lottery selection is tonight, and you know what that means: time to break out all those NBA Draft conspiracy theories in case we have to figure out why the Oklahoma Thunder are picking first. I mean, there’s absolutely no way their ball would just happen to be the selection unless it was a league-wide (and beyond, considering the mechanics in selecting their first pick) conspiracy, headed by David Stern, right?
Oklahoma has an 11 percent chance to win the Blake Griffin Sweepstakes NBA Lottery, while the team with the worst record, Sacramento, has 25 percent. In case you forgot, Chicago had less than 2 percent chance when they won the Derrick Rose Sweepstakes last season.
I’m guessing it was fixed then to, seeing how Rose is a native Chicagoan.