Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 at 11:00 am  |  57 responses

Cheap Shot from Argentina Helped Fuel Team USA

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Argentina’s Facundo Campazzo admitted that he purposely hit Carmelo Anthony below the belt on a three-point attempt last night.

According to Campazzo, the cheap shot was in retaliation to one he allegedly received from Chris Paul earlier in the game.

In the end, that incident helped motivate Team USA, as it romped past Argentina 126-97 — led by Kevin Durant’s 28 points, including 17 in the decisive third quarter — for its fifth consecutive victory in the Olympic Games.

The AP has more:

With their fourth blowout in five games, the Americans (5-0) moved into the quarterfinals, where they’ll meet Australia (3-2) on Wednesday night and proclaimed that if anyone is to beat them in the days ahead they’re going to have to outshoot these run-and-gunslingers from the U.S.

LeBron James added 18 points and Paul 17 for the Americans, who were fueled by Argentina’s Facundo Campazzo hitting Carmelo Anthony in the groin as he hit a 3-pointer to end the third. With Anthony buckled over on the floor, players on both benches pointed fingers and jawed at each other. Campazzo acknowledged hitting Anthony on purpose, and said he did it because Paul had punched him earlier. Following the game, Kobe Bryant confronted Campazzo. “It was inappropriate,” Bryant said. “I said, ‘you don’t do that’ and he said, ‘I know.’ He knows he’s wrong. That was uncalled for and I let him know. To his credit, he acknowledged it. He said, ‘My fault, I know.’ And that was it.” Maybe not. Argentina and the U.S. could meet again in the semifinals. The two hooked up in the 2004 Athens Games with Argentina winning before the Americans atoned four years in Beijing. “We find a way to play them every single year,” Paul said. “It’s a rivalry.” Bryant said the 29-point was the U.S. team’s way of reminding the Argentineans they’ll have to play much better – or settle for silver or bronze. “You kind of want to send a message a little bit,” said Bryant, who scored just 11 points. “This was the second game in a row that a team has played us close. We didn’t want to give them confidence.”

Following the game, Carmelo Anthony had this to say regarding the skirmish (via the NY Daily News): “Carmelo joked that he ‘just fell down’ but later told me ‘it was a cheap shot but we move on.’”

Opposing squads have tried just about every tactic against Team USA so far, but to no avail. Going forward, the Americans can expect plenty more of chippiness and the occasional dirty play. They must stay cool and answer with their formidable firepower.

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  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    Teams want to play rough and get chippy then Team USA just needs to respond by blowing their a**es out the building (n/h)


    after lbj n durant put on a shooting spree, the Argentinians had no choice but to respond physically like that was gonna make a difference.

  • Sin City

    Doc Rivers and the other analyst said this, and it’s something me and my boy have been saying for the longest. Never let the game get close, because you’ll allow the game to be decided by the international refs, they losing. That cheap shot didn’t get a T, but Westbrook dunk did? Kept rewinsibf it and even slo-mo the play, and West never made contact with the player. Taunting T.

  • Sin City

    I loved the fact that Bron and the team was making sure do anything to hurt him, while Durant and West was in Scola face. I love this team chemistry.

  • Sin City

    Melo doesn’t do* Damn mobile phone

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Where is that idiot who moved to Canada and told us all about how Argentina was going to win?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    If you see Scola in a game, a scuffle is never too far away. He’s one of those dudes like the Machine who are genetically engineered to make you lose your cool.

  • Riggs

    scola is an ass*ole. just like varejao.

  • Sin City

    I’m not going to lie, I really hope they play again in the medal rounds.

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    just had to think of that thread from yesterday about melo being selfish. i think if he was a selfish guy / player no team would get fueled up when he receives a cheap shot / gets hit. if he really was such a bad guy / player no teammate would care about him getting hit.

  • franko

    Im not “that idiot from Canada” (nbk) but Argentina made a good job in the first and second quarter, then Our stars went to rest.. :) thats all.

  • Ash

    But why reliate against Carnelo and not Paul.

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    @Ash because Chris Paul would beat the cowboy s**t outta that dude that’s why

  • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1024928/index.htm nbk

    Dan, it’s your teammate. From your country. Whether you like him or not you defend your teammates. It’s like having a brother, you might not like how he’s selfish, but you will still defend him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Chinese Oppenheimer

    Not surrising cris pole made dirry sho.

  • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1024928/index.htm nbk

    whoever is trolling, that sh*t isn’t funny

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    @nba: depends, if you play with a selfish ball hog that annoys you over and over again you might just think “finally” when you see him dowon on the floor lol. plus, i cant remember reading any negative quotes by teammates or former teammates about him. just by fans and populist writers

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    nbk, sry

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    first and foremost, this is team USA, not the Knicks or Nuggets. Carmelo doesn’t have the opportunity to be selfish. Second, none of his current teammates are going to call their captain selfish, the Owner, James Dolan, obviously values Melo more than anyone else in the organization, considering the fate of D’Antoni and Lin. And Third, in Denver, his job was too shoot a lot. I don’t know if you didn’t watch a lot of Nuggets games or whatever, but in George Karl’s offense Melo regularly caught the ball in a spot where he was EXPECTED to shoot. Whether or not his teammates found him selfish is kind of irrelevant, if they complained about how much he was shooting then they were essentially complaining about the offense being run. You can tell a selfish player when you watch one. Kobe is a selfish player. Carmelo is a selfish player. Russell Westbrook is a selfish player. It’s not such a horrible thing that anyone needs to make a big deal out of it. It’s just the way he plays, and it’s obviously worked for him up to this point, considering his college championship, status as a player, and selection onto team USA.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    They were on their way to crushing Argentina long before the cheap shot.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Melo might be considered selfish but at least he’s not using up half the shot clock to bust off. Boy, it’s getting harder than hard to watch Kobe play offense. At around 3:40 left in the first half he was screaming “And 1″…after the miss?

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    It’s at 3:51 left in the second quarter. Painful.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Kobe is not playing hard, he is saving his energy for the ring. Also Paul did the same thing in the past in College, they showed on First take this morning. Who cares, in basketball their is always cheap shots, mostly with elbows, but Paul is a flopper and overreacts to everything.

  • ThaWindy

    Chris Paul started it.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Sure…Kobe is not playing hard, he never plays hard when he has a bad game. Why is it that everytime he catches the ball, he’s looking to ISO the defender?

  • J-MaC

    Thank you JT! The cheap shot was the punctuation of the run..
    Slam with another TMZ headliner.

  • Heals

    @Nick, certainly seemed that way, especially when he knocked the ball outta Melo’s hands on the inbound play shortly before things escalated. @Sin City, if you’re unaware DougCollins (the analyst for broadcasts) was involved in a forever infamous basketball game between the SovietUnion and the US at the 1972(?) Olympics. Not saying you don’t know about it, but if you don’t please google it or sumthin cause it’s just insane to think about it happening nowadays…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Wow seed that’s dumb. Kobe just isn’t coming through.

  • bike

    When you are named Facundo, it is your birth right to hit someone down low.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    KD went all power rangers on their a**.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    If you thought Argentina was dirty, wait till they play Australia. It’s actually part of their game plan. I think it was the World Championships in Japan 06, they went after Kirilenko. Hard fouls every time he drove. Pinching, elbowing, knocking him down on cuts to through the paint. Eventually he flipped out, started openly retaliating and got kicked out.

  • http://Slamonline.com Black Mamba

    That cheap shot was disgraceful and not only dosent belong is basketball but dosent belong in sports

  • LA Huey

    I was disappointed with the lack of action between Kevin Love and Luis Scola in this game.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Carmelo’s game is a selfish one. No one said he was a bad guy or bad player. I don’t see how anyone could misunderstand that. He’s just not all that interested in getting his teammates involved especially when they’re not named Chris Paul, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. All the guys like him. Everyone knows he’s close to all those guys. But on the Knicks, he’s a scorer who hasn’t really improved his overall game too much. It shows when he’s not playing on an Olympic or All-Star team.
    As for Kobe, he’s said himself that there’s no need for him to exert himself too much on this team. He won’t be judged too much and shouldn’t be judged for how he plays this summer because the gold medal isn’t really riding on him nearly as much as it was in 08 when he was still in his prime. I doubt that he even cares about how people outside of Team USA feel about how he’s playing. This team belongs to LeBron and Durant mostly. Kobe’s main focus is another championship. Let’s see how he plays this coming season with Steve Nash joining him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    That’s something I really don’t get.
    I like to play hard. Nothing against that.
    But you never hit a man in the lunchbox.

  • robb

    Kobe’s playing different kind of game, with Melo and Durant he doesn’t need to score that much, he’s helping the the US by being a leader and a veteran presence. He’s smart, he knows how to be valuable to his team, but hey, haters are gonna hate.

  • lakeshow

    kobe + ball stopper/no defence

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Hey Kobe is shooting 38% in these Olympics with 4 assists. He is obviously a playmaker.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Chinese Oppenheimer

    Lobe is just chucking whenever he feels. He is constantly fuccing up out there

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    People do know that outside of that 4th qtr in the 08 Gold Medal game vs Spain, Kobe was terrible for the majority of the tournament, right? Nevermind, carry on with the “Kobe carried Team USA in 08″ babble.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    he wasn’t even that good. I mean he was 7-14 with 20 points & led the team with 6 assists so that’s nice. But he was 3-8 from 3, with 2 of those threes coming in the 4th (2 of 5). Other than that, Kobe was in hero mode in the 4th quarter, he was good, but he didn’t carry the US to gold.. Especially considering Wade was the best player in that game. 9-12, 4-7 from 3 (5-5 from inside the line) for 27 points.

  • ChipS

    Anybody catch Harden with the eff you three? Maybe shot clock was winding down, idk. Anyway, comes as no suprise that Scola and Ginobili put on a flopping clinic. Especially Scola.

  • LA Huey

    If the stats don’t back you up, better point to the intangibles being Kobe’s “contribution” to this team…

  • feez_22

    what makes people seriously think the lakers can run the princeton when they have the #1 iso player in the league the last 6-7 years? People always say that kobe can change his ways… are you lakers fans serious about that? ive heard that sentiment since yall got pau yet nothing has changed with his willingness to pass the basketball. You’d think a great way 2 start changing his game would be on a stacked USA team where the team needs off ball movement, quick passing and multiple passes like the princeton… yet he is the same player he always has bee in this setting. the best players in the world around him yet he continues to decide to iso his defender. what makes yall think he will not iso his defender with the lakers cast in the princeton? Now i will hear gilbert arenas princeton remarks surely… well guess why the wizards couldn’t win crap in the playoffs? bc with the princeton, if you are not passing it like the kings with adelman did, you will fail when it comes 2 concentrated posession games such as the playoffs. I also don’t want 2 hear “the wizards sucked” in this convo… in the reg season, the wiz won 50 games running this offense 1 year. top 5 reg season offense but failed in the playoffs bc the princeton wasn’t being run good enough. thats what will happen with the lakers.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Kobe’s never played with a point guard like Nash. Love Fisher, but he was at best, a shot maker in pressure situations and a tough, solid defender. Not really a distributor. We’ll see if Kobe changes his game. For him to talk with Nash on the phone before the deal got done, that tells me that he’s willing to change a little bit into more of a catch and shoot guy instead of having to isolate and dribble to get his shots. If you’re the best shooting guard and the best player in the league like Kobe was for at least 3 or 4 seasons and your point guards have been Derek Fisher, Chucky Atkins and Smush Parker, what exactly do you expect from him?

  • hushabomb

    The only way the Lakers run the “Princeton Offence” is to run it when it gets to a half court situation which is now what the Lakers want to do. Play to yo strength and run at every opportunity. Set picks for Nash for him to get free and get good passes. Try to funnel defences into Bynum or Kobe for steals and get out and run.

  • hushabomb

    The only way the Lakers run the “Princeton Offence” is to run it when it gets to a half court situation which is now what the Lakers want to do. Play to yo strength and run at every opportunity. Set picks for Nash for him to get free and get good passes. Try to funnel defences into Bynum or Kobe for steals and get out and run.

  • Ryan

    I’m not saying it’s right but I think a whole lot of guys would like to give Carmelo Anthony a nut shot. Not the most likable dude.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Melo seems very likeable. Appears to be a cool dude.

  • james

    why are people talkin about Kobe? lmao kobe is my favorite player but it always amazes me how much the kobe dickriders and kobe haters find a way to always talk about him. yall are weird.

  • http://www.nba.com Dacre

    James informing us yet again who his favorite player is. . . .

  • Jerome

    A good tactic in varios team sports is to tell everybody what you plan to do then switch it up. I am. not sure L.A. is doing this, but I wouldn’t put it past them.

  • Jerome

    Oh yeah. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. re: speed bag.

  • Lboogie

    Kobe does alot by attracting the defense and is vital to team USA’s success. At his age he just has more I.Q. than anyone on the court. Hes been doing it since 18-19 and for him to still be leading the league in scoring with all the games he has played is a testament to his health. Its not crazy that Laker Haters are everywhere…Kobe does deny their team of Wins and Championships. Its no secret. Hes the best, its all documented and recorded on film. Theres no debate at all what he does for a team, he HAS to chuck shots and put pressure on defense to guard him, making it easier for others. It always drifts back to kobe because hes the best and people always talk about the best. Its in the back of Laker Hater’s minds, Kobe haunts you thats why they come online to let it all out.

  • Lboogie

    man wtf

  • BallsDeep

    To all my Aussie ballers. If any of you are recording the game US versus AUS or know someone who is please send me a link.
    I don’t know who to go for. Hope it’s a good game.
    For the love of the game…

  • BallsDeep

    @Nbk. Where is that idiot from Canada? I’ll pay that one.