Wednesday, August 08, 2012
What a fantastically awful symbol: Nicolas Batum, until now one of our cleanest and smartest players, going for the dirtiest move of the basketball olympic tournament to express his frustration after Juan-Carlos Navarro, the player who epitomizes Spanish basketball year-on-year domination over France, but also Spanish basketball slyness in all its splendor.
1. Because the Spaniards cheated.
They lost purposely against Brazil to avoid Team USA in the quarter-finals, and, in an ideal world, should have been disqualified from the tournament.
2. Because Navarro is the sliest flopper in the game.
I've seen him play in Barcelona: the reason why he didn't succeed in the NBA is that he's a super smooth player lacking physical power, and thus always going for the flop and the foul. It's extremely annoying from a spectator point of view as it degrades the game. I can imagine hundreds of players who've been victims of Navarro smile at the comment Batum made when asked right after the game about hitting Navarro in the groin: "I wanted to give him a good reason to flop". C'est mal M. Batum. Très mal ;).
3. Because how can you not hate a team's guts after they kick you out of 3 major tournaments in a row?
Forget about Greece. They don't play in the same league as France now. Our ultimate nemesis are the Spaniards, and I can't wait to have the US team destroy them... unless they lose to the Russians in the semis. On Friday in London, I'll be rooting for the Russians in any case.
It's too bad, because as much as I hated them already, I thought they were the lesser of two evils when compared to Team USA - I'm not into LeBron-led teams :). In any case, it's only fair to hate them more now.
1. Because France turned Rudy Fernandez into a victim!
After his hard shove on Parker a year ago in the European championship final, and his ejection in the exhibition game in July at Bercy, Fernandez was the one player we all loved to hate in France, and Batum, a former teammate in Portland, had always seemed to outduel him and was the forward Portland preferred to Fernandez. The tipping point of this the game, after endless minutes where the score seemed virtually halted at 57-58, arrived when Parker finally took a good shot in a comfortable position, for what would hopefully have been a much deserved lead for France, but ultimately missed the shot while Batum (seemed to have) hit Rudy hard on the rebound, for subsequent easy free throws and a clearer 3-point lead.
A few minutes later, Turiaf went for a (seemingly?) hard foul on Fernandez, which signaled the death of France, and saw an annoyingly victimized Fernandez (yes, I'm biased) take his time to recover.
2. Because we didn't need a basketball Zidane.
The dirty player was Fernandez, and the sly, flopping player was Navarro. We all knew that and we didn't need unsportsmanlike attitude, which will just have Spain wallow in satisfaction and despise towards France. Plus, I hated Batum's face after hitting Navarro, acting surprised and pretending it was just a normal foul, and not even getting ejected for it.
3. Because I'm sick of seeing France not knowing how to win big games.
I'm sick of seeing these France players play well in the NBA, play a better tournament than the Spaniards in spite of Noah's absence, lead most of the game, only to let it slip at the end. It was written, we all knew it would unfold like that, and Team France didn't disappoint. These players are mature now, Parker won many championships, why on earth are they not able to sustain a lead in big games? Fuck it.