So there’s no need for the other teams to show up, right? Or even try? I mean, LeBron James, for reals, already told TIME MAGAZINE that the Americans will win the gold medal in Beijing. And it shall happen. Right?
(Words you can take to the engraver, or just another puff of smoke?)
When James was comparing the feeling of winning a gold medal to opening gifts on Christmas (because he’s … won Olympic gold?), a sterling reporter wanted clarification if James meant he was going to lead Team USA Basketball to one of those shiny golden medals. “Absolutely.” When asked if that was a guarantee, he said, “Absolutely.”
No word if the reporter kept saying “Really?” until James caved and said “Nah, just messin’, dawg. We’re lookin’ at a quarterfinal exit to Spain.”
While the gambit might be a little overdone on our humble continent, perhaps strong words mean a lot more overseas. When guarantees are minted from thin air to the point that Anthony freakin’ Smith is credentialed to dole them out, it’s pretty clear that guarantees don’t mean much. But this psychological trick has yet to be field tested in China, for all we know. Maybe Europe responds more submissively to direct language. Maybe that’s how they got everyone to agree on using the Euro - “I guarantee you will all start using this currency in three years.”
Hey, it’s worth a shot. USA has seemingly tried everything else, except for, y’know, learning how to play international basketball, which involves passing and fundamentals instead of dunks, alley-oops, spot-up 3-point shots and layups-that-are-like-layups-but-instead-they-dunk-it.