If you missed the Team USA Men’s Basketball game against Nigeria today you didn’t miss much. The USA men’s team won 156-73, yes that is not a typo, a record breaking winning margin of 83 points, and the highest scoring game in Olympic history. So after viewing a game like this there is no real way to pinpoint one player and state that he was the main reason his team won. The US could have played with 4 guys today and they still probably would have won.
But one player, who only played eleven minutes, did send a very loud message early. Kobe Bryant, of the Los Angeles Lakers, came out early and set the tone for what would be a dominant performance for the best men’s basketball team in the world. Midway through the first quarter Kobe had 14 points, meanwhile the entire Nigerian team had 10. Outscoring an entire team for about eight minutes is not too bad.
Kobe wound up with 16 points, 2 steals, 2 assists, and 3 rebounds while at the same time putting on a clinic of fade-away jumpers, and turn-around j’s. Still, though Kobe setting the tone early did not have so much to do with getting the US out to an early lead, as it did with sending a message to his teammates that they were not going to settle for anything less than a blowout of Nigeria, and will not accept any medal unless it is gold.
Well, by judging from the outcome of today’s game, Kobe’s teammates did in fact get his message, they got it loud and clear. After Kobe went out his teammates picked up where he left off, Carmelo Anthony went on a tear, scoring 37 points, and knocking down 10 three’s, in only 14 minutes! Russell Westbrook played only 14 minutes but still managed to go 7-8 from the field, and pour in 21 points, 3 steals, and 2 assists.
Even NBA rookie Anthony Davis, recently drafted first overall by the New Orleans Hornets, joined in on the party by contributing 9 points, and 6 rebounds while going 4-4 from the field. Kobe was the man who originally started the debate about which team would win in a series, the ’92 Dream Team, or the ’12 USA team, and he wants his teammates to know that he stands by his decision that this team can, and would beat the ’92 dream team. If the US play like they did today then there is no doubt in my mind that they could beat anyone in the world, even the dream team.
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