USA Has Basketball FIBA, Makes Final By Beating Lithuania By A Lot
After wading through the Ray Rice mess, Tony Stewart waiting to see if he'll be charged, and Blade Runner being found not-guilty, you can actually find sports being played. In particular, the FIBA World Cup is winding down in Spain, with the US beating Lithuania 96-68 in the semis, and now heading to the finals against the winner of Serbia/France. Wait, you haven't been watching? Well, you have two matches left to start.
— NBA (@NBA) September 11, 2014
The FIBA World Cup was introduced in 1948 to ride the coattails of the FIFA World Cup. But that's like saying Spam was created to appease the palates of Filet Mignon fans. The tournament does have its interesting moments, like the puzzling 16-year stretch when the US couldn't win the gold medal, even with NBA players. But now Team USA is riding a whopping one-tournament-in-a-row gold streak, and hoping to expand that to two. But as for their role as ambassadors of the game, they've done things like this:
Okay, the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins took two shots to the chest from the Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas, and it's good to be fired up about the tournament, but you don't want to be the team that turns an international basketball game into a cage match. But actually, Valanciunas looked silly cowering from the MMA-like charge of Cousins, didn't he?
USA WILL WIN GOLD - FIBA World Cup - COACHING + TALENT = GOLD This formula is a lethal combo #USAPRIDE
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) September 12, 2014
So, if you're tired of watching sports stories that end up in the news section, tune into the FIBA finals on Sunday and cheer for the red, white and blue (that's a joke as all three countries' flags are red, white and blue... never mind).
David Young has been a columnist for Sports Illustrated and ESPN and is now one for SportsGrid.com. Follow him on Twitter @turkeysflying.
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