By Rahman J. Dukes
Round of applause for USA Mens Basketball team who brought back the gold yesterday after beating out Spain in a close game winning 100-107. The final game was a nail biter for the star studded roster that included Kobe, Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and this years NBA Finals MVP, LeBron James. Following the win the champagne began to flow as the team celebrated their win with none other than Queens rap legend Nas.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We didn’t want it easy,” LeBron James said after the win. “A lot of teams have won gold easy. We didn’t want it that way. We’re a competitive team, and we love when it gets tight. That’s when our will and determination kind of shows. It was the same way in ’08.”
The gold win was a memorable one for Team USA but more joyful for LeBron James who capped a historical year (James won the MVP Award for the 2011-2012 season NBA championship, MVP Finals and now a gold medal). The only other player to secure the same accolades was Michael Jordan.
“It was a good year. It was a great year for me as an individual,” James continued. “But this right here, it means more than myself, it means more than my name on my back. It means everything to the name on the front. I’m happy that I was able to contribute to this great team. It’s one of the best teams ever.”
While Team USA was as dominant as ever from the start the sqaud battled heavy criticism throughout their run for the gold medal from their Dream Team peers. Never one to shy away from speaking his mind basketball legend Kobe Bryant set off the friendly exchange of words when he suggested his Olympics team was better than the Michael Jordan led Dream Team.
“Well, just from a basketball standpoint, they obviously have a lot more size than we do — you know, with (David) Robinson and (Patrick) Ewing and (Karl) Malone and those guys,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports. “But they were also — some of those wing players — were also a lot older, at kind of the end of their careers. We have just a bunch of young racehorses, guys that are eager to compete. So I don’t know. It’d be a tough one, but I think we’d pull it out.”
As expected, Charles Barkley and co. were hearing none of Kobe’s pipe dreams.
“Oh yeah, that’s no disrespect,” Barkley told ESPN. “I ain’t got to badmouth them. But like I said, their point guards weren’t going to beat us. That’s a no-brainer.”
“I just started laughing,” Barkley continued in regards to Kobe’s shot at the Dream Teams age. “How old is Kobe Bryant? He’s 34? And he’s calling us old? At the time, we were only like 28, 29. Michael Jordan and me were the same age. We were both 29. … Other than Kobe, LeBron (James) and Kevin Durant, I don’t think anybody else on that team makes our team.”
For yesterdays win Kevin Durant scored 30 points and Lebron added in 19.
With yesterdays win Bryant doesn’t seem to far from being wrong. Congratulations Team USA.