Monday, September 3, 2007

How To Rob

Team USA lived up to its gold standard, beating the collective shit out of Argentina on Sunday.

But after the medal ceremonies were over and the praise was heaped upon the Americans, the U.S. was robbed, badly.

Argentina forward Luis Scola was named the MVP of the Tournament of Americas on Sunday, after his team was routed by Team USA by 44 points. Seriously.

Not to demean the newest member of my beloved Rockets and the key to our future title hopes, but Lebron and Carmelo should go find Scola and beat him for stealing their MVP award.

Carmelo Anthony led the team in scoring with 21.2 points and was second to only Brazil's Leandro Barbosa in points per. LeBron James was second on the team in scoring with 18.1 points and, despite the presence of All-World pg Jason Kidd, led Team USA in assists.

Don't get me wrong, Scola did his thing in holding Argentina together without the presence of NBA players Manu Ginoboli and Francisco Oberto and former Temple pg Pepe Sanchez. He dropped 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in the tourney and more than held his own against the U.S. bigs despite foul trouble. (Plus, he made a young Rocket fan very happy in the process.)

But damn, you mean to tell me we can blow out opponents by an average of 39.5 points (including the aforementioned 44-point spanking in the championship game) and sweep the tournament and not have the MVP wear red, white and blue.

In the same article above, Michael Lee of the Washington Post talked to an American that actually voted for Scola:

"How un-American is that? I jokingly approached one of the American writers about voting for Scola and he said, 'I sure did. Argentina wouldn't be here without him." I won't out the writer unless he outs himself. I have to respect him for sticking to his guns. Doesn't make him right, though."

Argentina wouldn't have been there without him, that's true. But if you put Melo's scoring average on Argentina or Brazil's roster and they would've won gold, or at least challenged more strongly for it.

In my opinion, the award should've went to LeBron. He heard up and down about how the addition of Kobe Bryant was supposed to change the dynamic of Team USA (which it did), and he stepped up to become arguably the team's best player (despite whatever Skip Bayless says). Second in scoring, first in assists, and first in shooting percentage (Bron?), he showed out and stood out in a group full of fellow stars.

His shooting is what really set him apart. He hit 8-11 3-pointers in the gold medal game and was sharp throughout the whole tournament. He overpowered other nations with his superior athleticism and improved post moves (which he didn't get much of a chance to show). And James' otherworldly passing skills made the team that more dangerous, as it relieved Kidd of a lot of his playmaking responsibilities. James was a double threat as a finisher and passer in the open court and opponents could do nothing about him.

Well, except the voters. LeBron James was clearly the man the past week and a half, and he also clearly was robbed. Of course, they were in Vegas.


don said...

I cannot front ... Scola deserved the award more than anyone else.

Trey said...

Based on what? Carmelo averaged more on a more dominant team.

It should've been 1. Lebron, 2. Melo, 3. Scola

Ty Keenan said...

If you're taking the award's name literally, then Scola probably deserved it. But I'd go: Kidd, LBJ, Kobe.

Trey said...

I just can't agree to give a guy a MVP award when his team lost badly twice to the team that won the tournament. Of course he was very valuable, but most valuable.

If that's the case, if Scola was out and Oberto was there and they were in the same position, does he get the award? No.

Ty Keenan said...

I definitely don't think he should have gotten it, but let's assume "most valuable" means "if this player were out and replaced with an average player at the same position, how would the team have done?" By that logic, no Scola likely makes Argentina not qualify for the Olympics. Take out any one USA player and we still kick everyone's ass. But MVP's come to represent a combo if importance and the best player, so I go with the order I put in my last comment.

don said...

Without Scola, Argentina is nowhere i the picture.

Of course Team USA destroyed Argentina but you cannot honestly say that the Americans had one player who was more valuable to his team than Scola was to his.

C'mon Trey, don't let it blind you dawg.

Trey said...

Call me old fashioned, but don't MVP awards go to guys who actually won. LeBron didn't get the Finals MVP, even though he was 10x more valuable to the Cavs then Tony Parker was to the Spurs.

don said...

FIBAs don't get down like the NBA. That would be the only explanation I could give. But then again, LeBron stunk in the Finals.

Oh, did you hear about Justin Reed getting arrested for possession of marijuana?

Trey said...

You serious?

These damn Rockets

Ben Q. Rock said...

I would have given the award to Kidd. He's undefeated in international competition, and I don't think it's a coincidence.