Thursday Olybullets

  • Once again against Greece, somehow, the U.S. gets 25 turnovers. The Greek players looked sad and defeated starting some time in the third quarter. 15 steals and seven blocks in a 40 minute game will do that to you.

  • Dan Steinberg of the Beijing Sports Smog was there: "The only sustained noise going is coming from the 30 or so Greeks high in the upper level. One of them has taken his shirt off, and is gesturing to his compatriots for more noise while facing away from the court in trademark football supporters style. We definitely need more shirtless fan leaders in the NBA."

  • Jason Kidd feels the Spanish team is getting off easy after their tasteless mockery of Chinese people. My response would be: in America, we have a long and violent history of bitter race relations that starts with slavery, stolen land and such. It's a nasty, profound, long-term topic for us, the center of national soul searching for a half-century. Be glad that you're in a time and place where more people are expected to know better.

  • Weird thing I noticed this morning. The TV broadcast of Team USA's game was about thirty seconds ahead of the internet broadcast. Doesn't much matter, but interesting.

  • Catching up with former Greek Rocket Vassilis Spanoulis. He is not eager to return to the NBA, even though after his rights had been traded to San Antonio Tony Parker tried to talk him into being a Spur. There is an amazing Jeff Van Gundy line here. Spanoulis reportedly told people that that back in Greece, he was like Tracy McGrady. "Great," replies Van Gundy, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post. "McGrady is McGrady here."

  • Things get testy at a press conference with organizers when reporters start asking about human rights.

  • And a little something optimistic for the Olympics, and global relations generally.

  • Carmelo Anthony has 14,000 songs on his ipod, but says the best technology he has been using in China is the Skype he uses to talk to his toddler son back home.

  • Soccer is by many measures the most popular sport in China. So why isn't the Chinese national team any good?

  • TrueHoop reader Sean e-mails: "Am I the only one who's amazed at how terrible the US has been at free throw shooting? A combined 64% in three games, whereas our opponents are shooting a combined 81%?!?! I know Redd and Deron aren't taking all the FTs, but I thought we had better shooters on this team ... Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but if there's a close match (and there likely will be one) where it comes down to free throws, I'm scared. I love LeBron, and think he's been playing all-around excellent basketball (just bought his Team USA jersey too- it's been the envy of all my friends), but shooting 4/10 from the line is terrible! Anyways, wanted to get in my two yuan."

  • Tyson Chandler demonstrates that not making Team USA is not the end of the world. Video from his time in Cabo San Lucas. Also, a thorough breakdown of Tyson Chandler's defense, in response to the notion that he is somehow inferior because his block numbers aren't as high as some would like.

  • The idea that Ricky Rubio is to defense what Steve Nash is to offense.

  • Spain had no trouble with Germany.