Tag Archives: Argentina

Olympic Men’s Basketball: Medal Round Preview

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Will LeBron James (pictured above) lead Team USA to gold? Our very own Nick Craddock weighs in.

By Nick Craddock

The preliminary round of the London 2012 edition of the men’s basketball competition concluded Monday and we’ve learned (or merely confirmed) that the United States, which is escaping the group stage unscathed, is still the team to beat for the gold medal.

After the United States, the question of which team poses the biggest threat to the heavy favorites remains unclear. While the aforementioned question does not yield a definitive answer, what is clear heading into the medal round, which begins Wednesday, is that a handful of teams from the chasing pack can challenge LeBron James and Co. on a great day for American opponents or a bad day for the Americans when it comes to their own execution.

In a single-elimination format, anything could happen for these teams still vying for Olympic success: Continue reading

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Olympic potpourri: Half way to the London 2012 finish line

Image courtesy of olympic.org. Over a week of London 2012 is in the books.

By Nick Craddock

The London 2012 Olympics are already in their second weekend and with the Games at their midpoint, here are some pressing questions you might be asking yourself.

1. Is Michael Phelps the greatest Olympian ever?

Of all the questions posited here, this one is clearly a rhetorical question with absolutely no debate whatsoever. Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian ever. Period. With 22 medals, 18 of them gold, Phelps has dominated the pool across a variety of stroke disciplines and distances.

Frankly, to think that Phelps winning four gold medals and two silver medals at a single Olympics can be considered a relatively so-so performance given his previous accomplishments, speaks volumes as to how accustomed we’ve become to his near perfection in the water.

A week ago, Phelps seemed out of sorts after a disappointing 400-meter individual medley race, but ever since he set the record for the most medals won by an Olympian midweek, his grin has seemed to grow larger each day and, more importantly, enjoying himself and his races.

Enjoy the well-deserved rest, Mr. Phelps. Your career will certainly be remembered as the best the Olympics has seen to date. Continue reading

Deschamps the natural choice to lead France

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Will Didier Deschamps (pictured above) be able to restore order with French soccer?

By Nick Craddock

The French football team has found itself in what is becoming a familiar predicament: In shambles following a major tournament.

Enter former national team hero, Didier Deschamps, introduced as the manager of France over the weekend to salvage the national side from the guillotine of the soccer world’s critics and naysayers. The only man capable of doing so.

Deschamps, captain of France’s 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 championship-winning teams, was the natural choice — the only choice — to lead France back to respectability following another disappointing major tournament, this time at Euro 2012. As a result, Deschamps’ former national teammate Laurent Blanc took the fall for the team’s poor performance and stepped down as the France manager. Continue reading

“USA All the Way”

Kevin Durant is looking to lead a young Team USA squad to it's first FIBA World Championship since 1994.

Team USA continues to roll and show the world that even without our cream of the crop superstars, we can still be dominant.  And many are probably saying, hold your horses.  It has only been two games.  The team has not played any of the major threats yet.  And when they did play a tough competitor, they squeeked out a win by the smallest of margins (86 to 85 exhibition win over Spain).

Now I will admit, I had my doubts about this team when I heard that Kobe, Lebron, Melo, Dwyane, nor Dwight Howard would be playing.  And frankly, I still do.  But this team little by little is starting to put my mind at ease.  They are young.  Full of speed.  Boasting with athleticism.  Long at every position. They have some great shooters.  And they are being led by Coach K, who all he knows how to do is Win, Win, Win.

I realize, this team still has three more pool play games before they even advance into the real tournament play.  Can Kevin Durant and the boys take care of business against Brazil, Iran, and Tunisia?  You better believe it.  But the real questions start to arise when this team has to take on teams like Greece, Spain, and Argentina.

Well have no fear, Kevin Durant is here.  This guy is the real deal.  He is a shooting star that is still only 21 years old.  He has quickly developed into one of the top all around players in the NBA, and possibly the best all around scorer.  The kid has length, athleticism, and a pretty stroke.  No team in this entire tournament, much less probably in the NBA, can really check this guy.  Not to mention he has players like Derrick Rose, the human fast break himself to dribble drive and free him up. 

I mean take a look at the US starting lineup.  A major strength that top teams in the NBA have as of late is great length at every position.  Durant is 6 foot 9 and long.  Iguodala is 6 foot 6 with phenomenal athleticism.  Lamar Odom is 6 foot 10 and reminiscent to a tree.  Plus our backcourt of Derrick Rose and Chauncey Billups are both 6 foot 3 guys who can really get up and down the floor. 

I will admit when Coach K picked this team, I did not understand why guys like OJ Mayo or Rajon Rondo did not make the squad.  But now after seeing this team play, I am seeing the logic.  He has a great chemistry going with this squad with a group of guys who really complement each other well.  This has been a problem for US teams in the past, who have not been able to capture the FIBA World Championships since 1994.

Talent is not everything.  Sure it helps, but it will not win you a major title by itself.  Coaching, discipline, and overall team chemistry are what will take you to that Championship level.  This team appears to have it all.

Look for Team USA to go all the way and bring back the FIBA World Championship to the United States for the first time in 16 years.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“American Pride”

The biggest names in competitive food eating, Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi battle it out in last year's "Nathan's International July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest."

So today there have been many grand scale events.  Serena Williams captured her 4th Wimbledon Championship in a dominating fashion.  Germany absolutely massacred the “it” team of this year’s World Cup, Argentina, 4 to 0.  Which is the equivalent of losing an MLB baseball game by 10 runs.  It just doesn’t happen, especially this far into the tournament.  The other soccer game today was also very exciting.  In the end, Spain scored a late goal to advance for a semifinal date with Germany.  So the Final Four of the World Cup features Uruguay, the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain.  Even if the Euro is struggling, the level of soccer sure isn’t.  Lastly, Wimbledon holds their final dual tomorrow between Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych (a very surprising finalist).

But let’s get real.  There is one big time sporting event going on this weekend that trumps them all.  An event that you have to love if you are an American.  An event that represents patriotism to the highest degree.  An event that may make you want to throw up after.  Yes I am talking about the “Nathan’s International July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest.”  One of the greatest events that we have to offer in the States on our country’s most special day.  A tradition that is entering it’s 95th year.  The fattest country in the world has a gluttonous display in the form of a food eating contest on the anniversary of our founding.  Who would want it any other way?

But this event has developed into so much more than just a simple food eating contest.  It has developed into a “us” vs “them” type of event.  One where we put all of our faith into the Michael Jordan of competitive food eating, Joey Chestnut.  The 26 year old  Chestnut holds the hope of a country in his mouth and his stomach every year on July 4th.  Chestnut over the past few years has developed a big time rivalry with a 6 time champion of this contest, Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi (a 32 year old who may be over the hill).  This is the food industry’s form of a Kobe vs Lebron rivalry.  Who is better?

Well Chestnut has developed into the greater champion over the past few years winning the crown three consecutive times.  But previously, Kobayashi had dominated the game winning 6 titles.  This year is up for grabs again though.  America needs a hero to stand behind in these tough economic times.  We need a Joey Chestnut to keep the belt in America on this most grand of occasions.  Screw the fireworks. 

America needs to win the “Nathan’s International July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest” first.  Without a victory in this event, most Americans will have a depressing holiday and not enjoy the day to the fullest.  Times are tough.  Therefore, a higher stress has been put in sport.  Joey Chestnut and his mouth/stomach combo hold the key to providing people all over the United States a happy 4th of July.

Talk about pressure..

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze