Tag Archives: Mike Breen

Yo, Yao

I have to say that I’m already a little more into these Olympics than I expected. The Opening Ceremony was unreal and watching Yao and nine-year-old Lin Hao become the global face of modern China — as over-exposed as it has already been in just 48 hours — was one of the most memorable Olympic moments I’ve ever seen.

Unfortunately, even the world’s most famous hall monitor cannot save the Chinese National Team. So let’s get to it.

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(Saeed Kahn/AFP/Getty Images)

1st Quarter

10:00 – They’re playing the John Tesh-orchestrated NBA on NBC theme in the stadium, which used to be my favorite song until the moment just now when play-by-play guy Mike Breen said to color commentator Doug Collins, “Hey, they’re playing your song.”

Also…What is Bushie doing in the Team USA huddle? Is he suiting up? Ball boy? Craig Sager tries to shed some light on this by contemplating who would win in a one-on-one game between Dubya and the Chinese President. I do think they should have put Obama on Team USA though. I’ve heard he can actually ball. And, yes, that is the only reason I’ll be voting for him. (Calm down, Republicans. I’m only kidding. I’ll once again be voting for Eric B.)

9:38 – Kobe is ball-hawking ferociously to start the game, forcing his man to give up the ball. Too bad it’s Yao who gets it at the top of the key and drills a triple. “How apropos,” says Doug Collins.

8:37 - Kobe takes a corner three and hits nothing but…the side of the back-board. Ouch. Melo missed one earlier so it’s 0-2 from three so far for the Americans. This may be an issue.

8:15 – USA gets off in transition and Dwight Howard finishes with a strong dunk. This won’t be an issue.

8:02 – China, looking fantastic in their Ronald McDonald-inspired uniforms, hits another trey to take a 6-2 lead.

7:20 – LeBron gets to the hoop and finishes plus the foul. He knocks down the freebie to put the USA up 7-6. Let’s hope China doesn’t lead again.

6:40 - China hits a jumper. Takes the lead. Then Golden Boy Jason Kidd turns it over and China scores again. USA trails 11-7.

6:15 - LeBron makes a slick move left and finishes off the glass. Down 11-9.

5:35 – Kobe goes to the hoop and gets his shit swatted badly by Yao. A billion-three go absoultely nuts. China breaks out in transition but LeBron makes a Tayshaun-esque trailer block and pins some weak nonsense against the glass. A timeout gives me time to realize that Team USA looks like crap.

4:45 – LeBron puts down a ridiculous leaner, tomahawk fastbreak finish after a CP3 dish.

4:35 – Kobe hits a three in transition off a CP3 drop pass.

3:50 – Flash takes the ball from a Chinese perimeter dribbler and takes it to the house. Team USA better hope for like 20 points per game this way if they’re gonna continue to play as badly as they are in the halfcourt game.

3:06 – Chen Jianghua penetrates all the way to the hoop with a sweet move to tie it up at 16-16. I like this guy.

2:47 – For the first time since he played at Marquette, Flash gets called for a walk.

1:10 – After a minute-and-a-half of sloppy ball and boring commentary, Flash breaks some ankles and dices through China’s zone. He can’t finish but gets hammered and knocks down two from the line. USA now up 18-16. This better be the lead that never gets relinquished.

0:26 – Dwight backs down a large Asian dude and dunks young-Shaq-style in his grill, embarrassing him in front of a billion and change. Plus his mom.

0:05 – In trying to explain what Team USA needs to get back to dominating international competition, Doug Collins says, “the word I always use is synergy.” Please don’t.

0:00 – The quarter ends: USA 20 – China 16.

2nd Quarter

10:00 – In talking about how the world was able to catch up with Team USA, Collins and Breen pontificate that the first signs came when the Americans just barely survived Lithuania in a 2000 Olympic game after Sarunas Jasikevicius narrowly missed a buzzer-three that could have won the game. When the camera shows a shot of JKidd on the bench, Collins mentions that Kidd was the one guarding Sarunas on that play, along with help from Antonio McDyess. I think we pinpointed the problem then. What the hell was Antonio McDyess doing on Team USA?

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Team USA should have re-evaluated its whole philosophy as soon as this guy almost beat them in Sydney.

8:34 – Mamba saves the ball under his own hoop right to a Chinese player who lays it in. Then, KB10 misses a three on the next trip down. My high school coach is having flashbacks — minus the “Venessa” with a crown tattoo, of course. Mine says “Mom” with a heart because I’m a good son. Also, I have this one.

8:14 – LeBron makes another absurd, pin-it-against-the-backboard block after a nice drive by some Chinese dude. He throws a full court chest-pass to Flash who dunks all alone.

7:06 – After China hits a three, Dwight gets to the line while trying to dunk. He’s already in double digits. While he’s shooting, the camera shows Bush I, Bush II, Laura Bush and the Chinese foreign minister all sitting in the same row. Henry Kissinger is also sitting right behind them and appears to be napping.

6:02 – China hits a three to tie the game. How apropos.

5:15 – Michael Redd (surprisingly) misses a three (he was 12-24 in the prelims). Bosh grabs the O board, however, and dunks on three guys. Collins mentions that, if JO can stay healthy next year, the Raps could be very good. As a Pacers fan, I chuckle.

4:45 - Kobe gets back-to-back dunks, one on his own penetration over a dude and one in transition after a (sloppy) behind-the-back Bron dish.

4:38 – Craig Sager interviews Jerry Colangelo on the sideline. Sages looks so depressed that they made him wear a standard-issue Olympic polo shirt instead of a Dumb and Dumber tuxedo. How can they do that to this guy? Asking him to give horrible courtside reports without looking ridiculous is like asking Iron Man to save the world without his suit.

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Seeing Sager sans silly suit saddens souls.

3:23 – LeBron freighttrains his way to the hoop and finishes plus the harm.

2:48 – Kidd makes a slick thread-the-needle pass through the lane to Bosh for a lay-in.

2:21 – USA scores on an obscene alley-opp in transition from Flash to Bron. The pass was way off, but King James went and got it anyway like that Grant Hill dunk at Duke and just turned it into an vicious tomahawk. The next play is a Kobe to Bron alley attempt that gets broken up. Kobe grabs the loose ball and dunks anyway. China might wanna stick to table tennis and diving.

1:40 – Bosh dunks to culminate a 16-3 USA run.

1:05 - Yao hits two free throws. USA up 47-36. Wade then scores on a pretty drive with a double-clutch lay-in, and Yao subsequently abuses Bosh in the post. He doesn’t score but gets fouled, and in the process looks about 80% back from the stress fracture.

0:04 – Mike Krzyszaeswsraswekski calls a timeout to set up a final play. The Redeem Team has now used more timeouts in the first half of its first game than the Dream Team did in the Barcelona Olympics.

0:02 - And, boy oh boy, is it a great play. Kobe travels.

3rd Quarter

10:00 - The Marvin Gaye Star-Spangled Banner Nike commercial is the best Olympic ad since Dan vs Dave.

9:35 – Kobe makes a sick move to the hoop and dunks with two hands. LeBron swats yet another shot on the other end.

9:12 - JKidd turns the ball over in transition once again. That makes eight turnovers for Team USA thus far, which nicely complements the squad’s 1-12 shooting from three. Jason Kidd might not even be the third best PG on this team.

8:14 – In the middle of Doug Collins ripping Yi for his poor play (with good reason since he’s, I think, 0-11 from the floor) the Chairman throws down a monster dunk on an offensive rebound tip in over Carmelo. Yi may not be able to bring the Soon To Be Brooklyn Nets to the Playoffs, but he’ll now always have a place in my heart for further proving my theory that Doug Collins is a nitwit.

5:50 – Not much interesting happens for a while aside from me eating eggs until LeBron goes coast-to-coast and dunks. USA is now up 55-39. Feel the excitement.

5:07 – USA breaks out a full-court press. They don’t get a turnover, but China misses a three after a long, hurried pass upcourt. I’m not sure why Coach K doesn’t just press the whole game like a high school team who’s clearly more athletic, talented and deeper than its opponent.

3:56 – After yet another missed three by USA, Bosh grabs another O board and scores. He’s looking solid.

3:37 – LeBron scores on a breakaway. USA back up 17.

2:02 – As Flash finishes at the hoop plus the foul, Yao goes down and is grabbing his formerly fractured foot. Uh-oh. That’s really not good. Meanwhile, Wade is 6-6 from the floor and 5-5 from the line. Being able to bring both Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade off the bench is insane.

0:52 – Kobe does the LeBron tomahawk on a breakaway. I mean, seriously, it works as a non-bourgeois, signature finish for LBJ and all, but can everyone else in the League please go back to breaking out windmills, reverses and double-clutches when its one-on-none?

0:22 – Now that’s what I’m talking about. Right on cue, Flash picks the pocket of a perimeter dribbler and does a nice little rockababy, double-clutch reverse on the breakaway. Really, that’s all I’m asking for here. Team USA is now up 25.

4th Quarter

10:00 – I’m already sick of the animated LBJ/Yao Coke commercial.

8:58 – Deron tries to dunk on Yao’s head. It doesn’t work. The crowd cheers.

8:02 – Deron hits a pull-back jumper, then gets fouled on the next play down on an aggressive drive. It looks like he’s the only one out that who isn’t bored of this game. God knows I am.

7:24 - Sure enough, Deron scores on a transition up-and-under lay-up. Meanwhile, Dubya and Laura have had enough and get up to leave. Surprisingly, he doesn’t get the same star treatment Kobe did when he trying to walk through the crowd earlier today. The low-level of visible Secret Service is encouraging, however.

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Dubya, his pops and his wife all showed up. Unfortunately, he had to leave midway through the 4th Quarter. I mean, Misty May’s ass isn’t gonna spank itself

5:32 – Michael Redd misses another three. I’m sure he’ll do fine and all, but I’m shocked that Coach K and Colangelo didn’t bring one more shooter. What happened to Mike Miller? Is Tayshaun really necessary?

3:34 - After a nice finish by Yi, Redd misses another three.

3:14 – Then, Redd again misses another three and Yi again dunks.

2:32 - Yi scores again. Is “Jianliang” Cantonese for “ARod”?

1:09 – CP3 hits a trey to keep everyone on the edge of their seats for this thrilling conclusion.

0:33 – Redd finally hits a three. Team USA is now 7-24 for the game. That’s not getting it done against Spain or Argentina.

0:00 – And…The most watched basketball game of all-time is now officially complete. Team USA wins 101-70, and 1.3 billion plus are underwhelmed.