Friday, August 22, 2008

The Goofiest Team in the World

The Jazz' experience at the Olympics has gone to script so far: the U.S. has dominated (at least parts) of all of its games; Deron has played solid minutes and typically leads the second unit as they pull away from teams; Boozer has looked undersized in his 2-6 minutes of action. Russia completely collapsed and failed to qualify for the quarterfinals, but Kirilenko dropped a classic 2004 line on Lithuania: 17 points, 6 boards, 6 assists, 6 steals(!), and 3 blocks.

On Sunday Team USA will take on Spain, a team that is undefeated if you don't count the 37 point drubbing the first time they played the boys in red, white and mostly blue. But make no mistake, Spain is a worthy opponent, with loads of current, and once-upon-a-time NBA talent. They are also quite possibly the goofiest collection of elite basketball players ever assembled. To prepare for the gold medal match, here's a preview of the awkwardness that will ensue:

The Gasol Brothers: These Catalan brothers are Spain's version of the Collins twins - except subtracting the Stanford degrees, and adding NBA-level talent and radio-good looks. Pau is the anchor of the offense and must have a great game if Spain is hoping to win. Pau is also the only man in history that became better looking by going with the Brigham Young/stoner look. Don't believe me? Check out his pre-beard days. His brother Marc (who was traded to Memphis for Pau) looks like a beefy Apollo Anton-Ono. As a player, Marc is a lot less fluid than Pau, and "carries a little extra weight," but he is a strong, effective center, and took advantage of the U.S. in the first game when they tried to defend him with Kobe or Wade.

Alex Mumbru: You're telling me that this academic-looking fellow is a lights out 3-point shooting small forward? If he were on an NBA team I would expect him to be working in the legal department. To get a more intimidating look, he wears that weird black tape on his shoulder that is all the rage among Olympians, but is probably just duct tape.

Jorge Garbojosa: The former Raptor is, without a doubt, the best chain-smoking big man since Vlade Divac. He's a classic Euro big man - loves the three pointer and sports just enough chest hair to make him irresistable to the ladies in Khimki. Look at him: what a sexpot.

Rudy Fernandez: This soon-to-be Trailblazer has generated some early buzz for rookie of the year. I've only watched him play in the earlier match against the U.S., but from what I can tell he's an energetic defender and a crafty scorer on offense. He also may be the dorkiest guy on an extremely dorky team. I can guarantee that this guy is fluent in elvish and has a 12-sided die with runes in place of numbers. To get a better sense of his social life, check out his myspace pictures.

Ricky Rubio: With the injury to Jose Calderon, it looks like Ricky and TCG's favored son, Raul Lopez, will be manning the point on Sunday. Rubio is talked about as a possible number one overall draft choice next year. He's 6''5', a great defender, and plays with energy and smarts. On the negative-side of things, he is a world class flop artist, looks like the love child of Adam Morrison and Getty Lee, and weighs about a buck forty-five. With some maturation, and good old fashioned American steroids, he will likely be a nice NBA point guard one day.

Juan Carlos Navarro: Love the faux-hawk. Tool.


Draft Guru said...

I was waiting for an article like this one. It just had to be said. Nice preview.

Pasty Gangsta said...

We will destroy the Spaniards once again. Perhaps not by 37, but at least by 20. Coach K and the boys are going to finish what they started in China.

Tucker McCann said...

First of all, I guess Pasty Gangsta was totally wrong by saying (see above) that the US would destroy Spain by at least 20. What else is new?

Second, Does Garbajosa really smoke? Is this verified?

Orlando said...

Look, Booner, the Spaniards were the biggest bunch of rednecks at the games. They got off so lightly for (1) complaining about refs, (2) making fun of chinese eyse, and (3) being general poor sports. If the U.S. had done those things, lord have mercy.