Nothing special about this joint
Remember the Fish Takes Like Pork place from the other day? It had become, I’m told, something of a media-coaches hangout near the basketball gym.
Seems a group of grunts was in there dining – well, drinking for sure, I’m not certain how much dining was going on – and were somewhat startled to see a wee rodent scurrying across the floor.
That took the eating right out of the equation and when they heard a ‘pop, pop, pop’ sound that was eerily like a series of mousetraps being set off in succession, that place no longer became a post-game hang out.
And thank goodness no one tried the Special Meat on the menu.
If some European team really wants to make a buzz about stealing players away from the NBA with hugely lucrative contracts – more than even the top draft pick will make, tax-free money with housing and a car thrown in for good measure – I know the guy they should go after.
'Cause this dude is good. Scary good.
He made one pass against the States, a lob to a back-door cutting Rudy Fernandez that was right out of the Pistol Pete Maravich handbook.
And the kid’s only 17.
If he’s not among the top three picks in next June’s NBA draft, I want to see the three guys who are better than him.
Trouble is, because of the dopey NBA rules, I can’t get anyone connected with the league to comment on him on the record.
But off? They are effusive.
Kid’s still a bit skinny, but he’s still a teenager and he’s going to grow into his body. And the kind of feel he’s apparently got for the game cannot be taught.
We are our own food tasters, it seems.
Was out walking the streets near the press centre today since there was nothing for me to staff until the late-afternoon softball game and when I came back through security to the main press centre, I was carrying a bottle of water.
I dutifully placed it on the X-ray belt, it went through as usual and when I went to pick it up out of the tray, the eager young security person insisted I take a sip before I could continue.
I lived. It wasn’t poison.
But seriously, folks …
Q: Is there a reason the Spanish women's basketball team was shooting 3's and actually shooting with 2 seconds left when they're up 30 in the 4th quarter against Mali? Mali isn't exactly a powerhouse. Is there a benefit to having a higher point differential, or is it just poor sportsmanship? Admittedly, I haven't watched much women's Olympic basketball, so this may just be par for the course.
Alan R, Ajax
A: They were trying to get free pizza for the crowd (I keed, I keed).
No, actually one of the tiebreakers is indeed points differential.
Some guys want to set track records no one will touch for years.
Some guys preen over the last 10 metres of a 100-metre race.
Give me the former. Any day.
Not to diminish what Usain Bolt did Saturday night but, really, that showmanship detracts from could have been. It could have been historic beyond imagination. What it was was self-congratulations way too early.
Know what I saw today? A bird. First one the week that I’ve been here. Seriously.
Funny, though, I had just been talking to a few folks at the basketball venue about the lack of birds in the sky, despite the forests all around town and the huge number of trees.
And then, presto!, birds. Like we’d ordered them.
Maybe we did. Maybe the Central Committee was listening to our conversation and thought, ‘hmm, North Americans wonder about birds? Get us some birds! Fast.’
So they went out and found birds.
Or, after the shenanigans of the opening ceremonies, with the lip-synching and fake fireworks dropped into the television production, what we saw weren’t birds at all but holograms put up by the same folks.
Or, and this might be the case, too, there’ve been birds here all along and we just couldn’t see them for the haze.
I’m pretty sure you weren’t watching this on TV because you were perhaps sleeping and certainly have lives if you weren’t but, and trust me on this, there is nothing like rain-delayed sailing.
Rosie and Captain Jim and I were the press centre a few hours ago killing some time before the big softball game and after the big Phelps race (oh, and Cochrane, too). The TV right beside us was showing the sailing from some other place and the entire two hours was a rain-delay in the Finn class (which I presume is a kind of boat rather than a person).
Now, first of all, the graphic said the race was delayed because of changing wind, and I’m thinking, isn’t that what sailing’s all about?
And then, when it started to pour, they showed them hauling the Finns out of the water and I’m thinking, how do they mark their sports? Can’t very well put a ball marker in the ocean, now can you?
Ah, the mysteries of sports.
It’s all cool to be a fan of Chinese basketball these days, what with the men’s team in the quarter-finals and Yao even more iconic.
But it’s probably not cool for the Houston Rocket fans out there.
Yao looks like he’s still hurting or at least dragging himself up and down the court because of his conditioning.
It wasn’t six minutes into the game against Germany when he was bent over, tugging at his shorts in the universal stance for “holy crap, I’m tired.”
Maybe he gets fully healthy and fit between now and the start of the NBA season but history would suggest he might not.