USA Basketball Team Routs Team Spain at 2008 Olympics

Written by:
Tyrone Black
Published on:
Team USA Basketball 2008 Olympics

Team USA was expected to destroy what has become a controversial Spain team with a line of -15 at SBG Global and that's exactly what they did on Saturday, easilly covering the -15 spread with a 118-92 win.

Four down, four to go. The U.S. men's Olympic team is halfway back to the top of the basketball world.

And not even the world champions -- on paper anyway -- could give the Americans a game.

Spain was expected to give the U.S. more trouble. But Kobe Bryant and the Americans dominated throughout on Saturday.

Unleashing a lethal 3-point barrage for the first time in Beijing, the Americans turned the marquee matchup of the preliminary round into another romp, beating Spain 119-82 Saturday night to clinch the top seed in their group.

LeBron James scored 18 points for the United States (4-0), which hit seven of its first 10 attempts from behind the arc after making only 29 percent in its first three games. They finished at 48 percent (12-of-25), an almost unfair total for a team with unmatched athleticism.

Every U.S. player scored -- even Jason Kidd for the first time in Beijing -- as the Americans turned the matchup of unbeatens into their easiest victory yet. Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony each finished with 16 points.

The Americans will face the No. 4 seed from Group A, either Australia or Croatia, in the quarterfinals.

Spain has come under heavy fire for having its players pose for an ad where each of the teammates makes "slanty eyes" to mimic the Chinese people. That advertisement appeared in the largest Spanish newspaper this past week.

While those Chinese living in China may not have gotten the joke, those living abroad found it insulting.

Toronto Raptors guard Jose Calderon, a member of the Spain Men's Basketball team, defended his club's controversial advertisement where the entire squad posed while making slit-eyed gestures, saying it was an "affectionate gesture."

"We did it because we thought it was going to be something nice, something with no problem," Calderon told Yahoo! Sports. "But somebody wants to talk about it. It is too much of a big deal with you guys (the media) and everybody talking about that."

Head coach Aíto García Reneses also seemed oblivious to how this could have offended the Asian community.

"If I go to play with a taller team and I put here (raising up on the tips of his toes) it is not an offense," Reneses said. "I can't understand anything more."

The Guardian of London points out that the story was picked up on the internet, particularly in the US, where the picture caused some amazement and has since featured on everything from the popular satirical Daily Show to the national news networks. "It is unfortunate that this type of imagery would rear its head at a time that is supposed to be about world unity," said George Wu of the Organisation of Chinese Americans.

As for Team USA, prior to this game, they have won their three games by an average of 24 points.


Tyrone Black,

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