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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 at 10:15 am  |  25 responses

Kobe Bryant Knows Spain Desperately Wants to Win Exhibition vs Team USA


The Spanish national hoops team has attempted to sell the world on the idea that they’re not taking tonight’s supposedly friendly Olympic tuneup against the American side too seriously. Kobe Bryant, however, isn’t buying any of it. From the AP: “A game against the U.S. – the team that beat them for the Olympic basketball gold medal four years earlier – this time in front of their own crowd? The Spanish players are supposed to be OK with losing, because it’s only an exhibition? ‘There’s not a chance,’ Bryant said Monday. ‘It’s not just practice. It’s impossible.’ Bryant might have come away with a different opinion if he’d listened to Spain’s players talk on the same Palau Sant Jordi floor about an hour earlier. They are excited about the game Tuesday night and will try to win, but not at the expense of their preparations for London. ‘It’s an exhibition game. I think both teams are going to try to (use) different lineups, going to try maybe different stuff, but at the end of the day you know you’re not going to show a lot of things to the other team,’ Spain guard Jose Calderon of the Toronto Raptors said. ‘You’re not going to have a medal if you win or if you lost tomorrow.’ […] ‘It’ll definitely be a great test,’ Spain star Pau Gasol said. ‘We believe in our chances, but it’s just a friendly game. Obviously we’d rather lose tomorrow and win in London.’ […] Bryant said Gasol is like a little brother, and that big brothers don’t let little brothers win. ‘He doesn’t like to lose against anyone, but I’d like to maybe let him win tomorrow and maybe beat him in London,’ Gasol said. ‘That’ll be ideal.’ Bryant countered that there’s ‘no way Pau is thinking this is just another game.’ And if it’s another tight one like the Beijing battle as they head into the final minutes Tuesday? ‘There’s no way Pau’s sitting down,’ Bryant said.”

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woWqSmichOo RunNGun

    Really, Kobe… who doesn’t want to beat Team USA?

  • mas

    The only diference is that Spain with Gasol x2 and Ibaka can actually BEAT them.

  • bigA

    Unless Spain tries to throw the game again like last time.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2012/07/lakers-fans-give-steve-nash-a-beer-on-the-freeway/ vantot fresnedee

    i really don’t see team usa being dominant at the olympics. gold? sure. but they’re gonna work for it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Spains interior players are key. Gasol brothers are good passers (Ibaka will just run post to post and block shots, ala his OKC style of play), they have enough perimeter shooting to keep the USA honest, and they’ll get great % looks inside, especially when Chandler takes his 10 mins of rest over the course of the game. It should be a great contest.

  • Basketball_iQ

    Chandler won’t sit in this game unless he’s in foul trouble… These are 10min quarters, not the nba’s 12, no one in this game will be playing lightly..trust.

  • http://slamonline.com Yknot

    In the words of Roberto Duran, no mas! Could they beat them? Yes. Will they? No! mas!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Chandler wont play all 40 mins of an exhibition game. He may play 35-37 though. I just expect Coach K to at least attempt to rest him if possible. It’s not unrealistic to think that Chandler sits at the 2 min mark of 1st Q, the first 2 mins of 2nd Q, final 2 mins of 2nd Q, and the final 2 mins of 3rd Q and first 2 mins of 4th Q. Thats only 10 minutes.
    It’s like LeBron sitting the final 2 mins of the 1st Q and re-entering at the 7min mark of the 2nd Q. That’s 5 mins rest, meaning he only plays a max of 35 mins the rest of the game. The numbers just look a little funny.
    And I don’t think the USA has shown its full defensive scheme repertoire yet either. They’re relatively lazy on PnR situations, and their transition offense and quick hitters are very basic so far.

  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    ¿¿¿And where exactly does Bryant say “Spain desperately wants to win”??? smh… Spain wants to win, it’s obvious, but nothing will change if they (we) lose. On the other hand, if it’s the USA who lose, some things will be different coming the Olympics. This is just a friendly game, even Marc Gasol isn’t going to play (I would be surprised if he did) and as Calderon says, Spain is not going to show everything this time. And I think USA won’t neither. This is just for fun, I won’t even care about USA players travelling all the time, so let’s enjoy it.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    Horry Jr has thrown Pau Gasol / Andrew Bynum at the same ____ time under the bus for the Lakers’ past two playoff exits. This is Pau’s chance to prove who is truly the “straw that stirs the drink” in L.A.

  • http://www.hoopsworld.com IamYOU

    Would be interesting if durant or harden or westbrook would get an argument with ibaka.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Team USA by 14pts. BOOK IT!!!

  • pposse

    lol at kobe tryin to big brother pau. I hope pau goes right up to kobe and pat him on his head.

  • dungeon family

    @ShockExchange I wish you would take yo lame azz jokes on somewhere Slam really has fallen off with these corny posters

  • R32

    There should be a pecking order on Team USA just like an NBA team. It seems everyone is trying too hard to make plays.

  • LA Huey

    As a Laker hater, I am very much enjoying pulling for the same side as Kobe Bean Bryant. It’s like when a wrestling heal briefly joins forces with the good guys. I love that he’s calling out Spain by trying to convince them that it’d be an embarassment to get beat on their home floor. Trying to get them to show their cards.
    btw, cats are making too much of the size advantage of Spain. Pau is finesse and LBJ can check him, Ibaka is only a defensive force, Marc is the only big that PLAYS big, and Team USA can make up for it by gang rebounding. USA all day.

  • eazy_

    USA! USA! USA!

  • shawnkemp4prez

    USA beats Argentina 86-80, Spain beats Argentina 105-85. I think we may have our hands full…

  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    USA up by 8 at halftime. There’s no inside game at all by neither team.

  • AudiophilePhil

    US won by hair line. Final score is 86-85.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    MELO MELO MELO

  • Basketball_iQ

    Spain threw the game again ,,, no marc gasol…

  • AudiophilePhil

    I was not threadcrapping.The score I posted 86-85 with the US team beating Spain by a point was actually the 2010 USA team that won the Gold at the 2010 World Basketball. The USA team that beat Spain 86-85 was a Team B led by Kevin Durant.

    The current USA Olympic Basketball team beats Spain by a big margin of 22 points in an exhibition match, 100-78.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Chandler played 8 minutes. Didn’t see that coming. [Although he did have 5 fouls].

  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    Chandler it’s a fouling machine, he better take it easy or the referees will have no mercy in the Olympics, he’s no Kobe or Lebron. USA played great, solid effort in defense and nice ball movement. I don’t think they can do much more than what they did yesterday. Spain played many minutes with reserves and will have to play much better to have a chance, Marc Gasol has to play every single minute, USA has no inside presence at all and Pau and Ibaka have to play their best as well. Also Calderon, Navarro and Rudy have to step up. And the rest of the guys better get use to have their asses on the bench. Only then will Spain have a chance. But the black hole at the small forward is a huge problem, specially with Melo shooting so well and so free. USA is the clear cut favourite, no doubt about it.

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