justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Monday, July 23, 2012

USA! USA! USA! Game 1

Here's my notes from last night's USA - Argentina exhibition game.

-- I thought a game featuring the Dream Team (or whatever they are calling this post-redemption redeem team) would sell out, but maybe I over estimated the popularity of the US of A, as the stadium was only 70% full. This might also have something to do with the fact that it was a game between Argentina and the USA being played in Spain.

-- Having not heard Frankie Scott Key's anthem in the past seven months, it felt even sweeter to hear the Star Spangled Banner. Typing that sentence also motivated me to use the word "spangled" more.

-- Player introductions were funny because of the terrible pronunciation of American names. Every NBA arena should have a wildly foreign PA guy and that guy should never been given pronunciation tips. Ever.

-- Kevin Durant started the game off with back-to-back threes and the USA was up 19-1 before Argentina realized what hit them. I was excited to see a good ol' fashioned original Dream Team style routing.

-- The crowd was littered with NBA jerseys, lots of great foreign knock-offs as well. As far as jersey-watching goes, there was nothing impressive, maybe the most out of place was a Udonis Haslem jersey. Maybe I just hate Udonis Haslem.

-- Speaking of hate, I really fucking hate Deron Williams and I'm not sure why.

-- I'm still really sad that D. Rose got injured and wasn't able to play. I think he's the only guy on the team besides goofy-ass Anthony Davis who I hadn't seen play IRL.

-- Back to the jerseys, Argentina’s featured a visa logo on the front and a big DirecTV ad on the back in place of player names. This got me wondering who pays for Olympic everything? Is it all sponsors? Does the US government pay for the table-tennis guys to fly to London? I really have no clue how Olympic economics work.

-- I’m kinda sad/kinda excited about the ads on NBA jerseys in 2013, mainly because I want to see who’s gonna sponsor shitty teams like the Bucks.

-- End of jersey talk: USA wore the ’92 Dream Team throwback jerseys. That was cool.

-- The Argentine team was pretty solid as they were comprised of a lot of past/current (I don’t follow the NBA that closely enough these days to know) players like Nocioni (76ers I think?), Manu (Spurs), Scola (Rockets still?), Delfino (bucks??).

-- As the first quarter drew to a close, the stadium staff brought down all the fans from the shittiest seats in the house (my seats, naturally) to move down to the empty section in the mezzanine section. Of all the sports games I’ve ever been to in my life, this is the first time that’s ever happened. 

I later re-upgraded my seats to side-view instead of behind the basket, but that staff’s kind gesture was still greatly appreciated.

-- It’s really just fucking amazing to see a line-up that has Kobe, Bron, and Durant. Needless to say those are three freaks of nature. Sure Chris Paul is good. Sure Tyson Chandler is good. But Kobe, Bron, and Durant are just insane and the fact they all play on the same team for this competition blows my mind.

It also blows my mind how those three once-in-a-generation guys (can I say that about three people?) don’t destroy every other team that is made of, at best, guys like Manu Ginobili.

-- The half time show consisted of this douchey weird speed painter who spazzed out between each stroke. At first I thought he was painting a portrait of Bron. Then it looked like nobody in particular, then it looked kinda like Clyde Drexler. I figured I was the only one in the stadium wondering why this guy was painting a Clyde.

Then Clyde Drexler walked out and I was put in my place. Chris Mullen and David Robinson also walked out (with their respective shitty canvases). I gave a salute to The Admiral. Worth the price of admission right there.

-- I’m really curious how this team goes through customs. Do they each hold on to their passport? Does somebody take care of all this for them?

While wasting my life thinking about this, I also realized that I’m still not that old/mature. Because if I was a team manager, and Kobe said, “Hold on to my passport for me,” it wouldn’t be the greatest moment of my life.

-- Argentina made it a ballgame at the end coming within 5 points in the final two minutes. I don’t understand  how that happened because we have Kobe, Bron, and Durant on the court. Maybe it has something to do with “teamwork” or “chemistry” or something. I honestly still don’t get why we don’t blow teams out.

-- Iguodala played for 12 minutes to tally 1 point, 2 assists, 1 block, 2 steals. James Harden = DNP. Bear down Arizona, Bear down red and blue. (Let the record show that I really love James Harden like every human should.)

-- USA won 86-80. KD finished with the smoothest 27 you've ever seen (actually it was just the standard smooth KD per usual) on 7 for 11 from deep. Unofficially I don’t think any of those 7 treys touched the rim. His shot is just beautiful. It makes me want to cry.

-- Post game KD was given a Tiffany & Co. sponsored trophy for game MVP or something.
The announcer described the award in Spanish. I didn’t get it. KD certainly didn’t get it. Either way it was probably the 400th trophy he’s got in his life. This one seemed to be for scoring 27 points in a meaningless exhibition game. He raised the trophy above his head for .00013 seconds, flashed a “I really don’t give a fuck about this” smile for the same .00013 seconds, then walked off.

The man wants a Gold Medal. Actually fuck that, I don’t buy it when pro-athletes say a gold medal means everything to them. He wants an NBA Championship.


BREAKING: said...

Scola is on the Suns. Rockets Amnestied him last week