Redeem Team looking to finish the job


Emma Carroll writes, Beijing…

Beijing, China– As the Olympics near their end, the US men’s basketball team has one more game: the gold medal game against Spain. After a disappointing and embarrassing bronze at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, the men, led by NBA superstars LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade, will settle for nothing less than a gold medal around their necks at these Games.To get to the gold medal game, the first of its kind they’ve seen in eight years, Team USA beat 2004 Olympic Champion team Argentina 101-81 in the semifinals. In that game, Anthony scored 21 points and James scored 15, 13 in the second half. Anthony also set the American record for most free throws made in a game, going 13-for-13.That game was the first big step of redemption after Argentina had won silver in the 2002 World Championships, beating the US.Argentina’s Luis Scola commented on the semifinal loss, saying, “They were better than us, there’s nothing more to say. They’ve been playing better than us the whole tournament. We have to say congratulations to them.”The journey for Argentina has one more stretch, however. They will be playing Lithuania, who lost to Spain, for the bronze. Spain beat Lithuania 91-86 to reach the gold medal game.Spain’s Raul Lopez said in response to being beat by the US before the medal rounds, “We learned a lot from that experience. And we want to try to win in the final… We’re going to play better.”Team USA’s Deron Williams seemed just as confident about the final as Spain. He said, “I feel sorry for them. We’re going to be ready. We’ve been waiting for this moment for four years… Just wait until Sunday.”In the Olympics, the US has never faltered. They beat China and its superstar Yao Ming and have been consistent ever since. It would not be false to say they are the favorites and perhaps have an advantage over Spain.And there is no doubt both Spanish and American audiences will be waiting for Sunday. The American audience will be looking for redemption, and the Spanish audience will be looking for a huge upset. Both audiences will be looking for golden glory.