So it's been a few days since I last posted. The Olympics are over and I can honestly say I loved every minute of these games. From the obvious (the Redeem Team) to the obscure (a USA bronze finish in air pistol shooting for Jason Turner), I had these events on TV at every moment I had free.
Some final thoughts:
-How could I not mention Michael Phelps? His seventh gold in the 100-m butterfly may have been the most exciting race I've ever seen. Granted, I only started watching swimming a few years ago because I had to cover it for the Globe but it doesn't get better than winning by .01 seconds. He, Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong have to be the three best individual athletes of recent memory.
-I love beach volleyball. The tandems of Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh and Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers were fun to watch and you could sense how much they enjoyed competing for their country.
-Serena and Venus Williams are the best sibling combination in sports, not the Mannings. This has nothing to do with how much I detest both of them, just that they are much better against their competition when they decide to team up and have had great success individually.
-More power to Usain Bolt for blowing kisses to fans at the end of his race and still setting a world record in the 200. If he has the ability to go that fast and still show off, I'm not going to knock him.
-There has been debate as to how the 2008 USA Basketball team compares to the Dream Team in the aftermath of the gold medal win. For years I've considered the Dream Team the greatest team ever assembled, and I stand by that. However, I'm not so sure they'd have an easy time with this current crop of future Hall of Famers. The thing that was so special about the Dream Team in '92 was that it was a link from the past to the present. There was an aged and broken-down Larry Bird, a past-his-prime Magic but you also had Pippen, Stockton, Malone, Barkley and Ewing all in their primes. Oh yeah, and that had that Jordan guy at his best as well. If this team featured Bird and Magic in their primes, it would be no contest. (Side note: Anyone have footage of Christian Laettner scoring for this team? I'd love to see it.)
The thing about the Redeem Team that we need to take into consideration is that we can't compare these two teams yet. Lebron has yet to even scratch the surface of what he can do in this league. The man is unbelievable. Players like him, D-Wade, Carmelo, Chris Paul or Dwight Howard are still on their way up.
I would love to see some of these one-on-one match ups:
-Jordan in his prime (not the '02 version or even the '98 version) vs. Kobe at the top of his game. Michael might find someone who could score on him even when he's playing hard defense.
-Barkley vs. Dwight Howard. At this point, I can envision Sir Charles handing Howard his lunch down low.
-Deron Williams vs. his predecessor, John Stockton. Very similar game styles, that'd be great to watch.
-Scotty Pippen on D-Wade or Lebron. Pippen had the unique ability to shut down both 2-guards and power forwards in his career. Each of these players would give him the type of test he never encountered in his prime.
Well that's all for now, I got the internet banned from my work because I was watching the USA-Argentina game...it was worth it. USA! USA! USA!