BARCELONA — A reporter from Slovenia asked DeMarcus Cousins a question Monday: “Do you know where Slovenia is?” Cousins snapped back: “Do you know where Alabama is?” Touche. The reporter was undoubtedly pursuing the storyline of “They don’t respect us, they don’t know us, they don’t even know where our country is located.” It is as predictable of a storyline as you could imagine, but Cousins was not taking the bait. So make that two big days in a row for the big man
BARCELONA — You know, we really have no business debating whether Spain can beat Team USA, or whether Team USA can beat Spain. It is disrespectful to Serbia, which whacked unbeaten Greece out of the tournament Sunday with an 18-point beatdown, and Brazil, which took down Argentina by 20. And it does a disservice to the four other teams that will begin the new workweek with a chance to be World Champions seven days from now. But you know what? It
BARCELONA — If the gold medal match was being played Sunday, Team USA would not beat Spain. It wouldn’t even be close. But the gold medal game is not this Sunday. It is next Sunday. And a lot can change in a week. So the burden is on coach Mike Krzyzewski: Figure out who is going to give you the best chance to beat the host nation, start shortening up the rotation, and hope that in one week you can achieve what it
BARCELONA — From the betcha didn’t realize category … Guess who is the defending FIBA-Americas champion in tomorrow’s USA-Mexico game in the Round of 16 at the World Cup? That would be the team that is a 37 1/2 point underdog — Mexico. One year ago, Mexico pulled off one of the unlikeliest tournament victories in FIBA history by winning the FIBA-Americas tourney in Caracas, Venezuela, as Gustavo Ayon was named the tournament MVP. It was the first time in 40 years
When you shoot 8-for-11 from the field, as Kenneth Faried did Wednesday in Team USA’s 106-71 victory over the Dominican Republic, and your shooting percentage for the tournament actually goes down … well, that says something about the kind of tournament you are having. Faried is unquestionably the leading candidate to be MVP of the 2014 FIBA World Cup after four games of pool play. The question is whether he will be able to keep it up over Team USA’s next
The debate over whether Derrick Rose should be playing for Team USA is behind us. Clearly he is not yet himself, and clearly he is using the FIBA World Cup to get himself back into playing shape so he has a running start when the Chicago Bulls’ NBA season begins. A big test is coming Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday as Team USA plays on three consecutive nights. We will have a much bigger body of work to judge him on when those three days
We will spare you too many of the gory details of Team USA’s massacre of Finland. Here’s all you need to know: The Finns were 0-for-17 from the field in the second quarter. If you watched the entire game, congratulations. You have proven yourself worthy of throwing away two perfectly good summertime hours from your Labor Day weekend that could have been spent doing something more enjoyable, like watching paint dry. Day One of the 2014 FIBA World Cup is in the books,
There is an official song and music video — “Sube la Copa” for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, and it is kind of catchy. Or maybe not. You can judge for yourself. I am not well versed in Huecco’s music portfolio, but I understand he is a celebrity in Espana. Here is the video. (The only member of Team USA who makes a cameo is Derrick Rose).