Final Edition of Rio Roundup
United States wins gold in men’s basketball for 15th time and men’s volleyball takes bronze over Russia
Led by newly minted center Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors three treys during the first half, the United States turned a 19-15 deficit into a whopping 40-15 run to lead 52-29 at halftime. The Americans ended up clobbering Serbia to the final score of 96-66, nowhere near the ultimate margin of victory when Team USA pasted France way back in 1948.
Durant would go on to finish with a game-high 30 points along with four assists, three rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot. Ironically, this was the same point total he had in the gold medal game in London 2012–a mark he shares with former Notre Dame and Detroit Pistons great Adrian Dantley which he initially set in the Montreal Olympics of 1976.
Bottom line, Head Coach Mike Kryzezewski broke Henry Iba’s long-standing record for most Olympic golds as coach with three. What a way to go out on top after taking over the reins way back in 2005. That same number of medals is what Carmelo Anthony has while as a player. He finishes up his Olympic career with his seventh and final rebound passing Basketball Hall of Famer and inaugural Dream Team member David Robinson with 126 career rebounds in Olympic play. Couple that with what he did earlier in this tournament, he also has the Olympic scoring record all to himself.
Among the ten newcomers, two of them really shined on this final day:
DeMarcus Cousins provided a huge spark coming off the bench tabulating a double-double (13 points to go along with 15 rebounds), two assists and two steals. NBA All-Pro Klay Thompson from Golden State chipped in with 12 points and even Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls had a nice game as well. Everyone scored during this final game, with exactly half the team each finishing in double figures (six players in all).
The Serbians were led by Nemanja Nedovic, who came off the bench to compile a nice stat line of 14 points, two assists, two steals and also grabbed one rebound. Serbia ended up shooting only 38 percent for the entire game.
Spain edged out Australia by the slimmest of margins over Australia 89-88 led by the superhuman efforts of Pau Gasol. He scored 41 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Although financial reasons were a huge part on why he no longer will be playing with the Chicago Bulls, but I am sure he has very lofty shoes to fill for the San Antonio Spurs with the retirement of certain first ballot Hall of Famer to be come April 2022 in Tim Duncan.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was also on hand to see this gold medal victory.
Brazil men’s volleyball captures gold
With soccer hero Neymar in attendance at the crazy Maracanazinho Arena, Brazil earned their seventh and final gold medal of this Olympics beating Italy 25-22, 28-26, and 24 to win the country’s first gold since Athens in 2004.
In the bronze medal match, it took a tough five sets as Team USA outlasted Russia to finish this Olympiad with 46 gold medals with 37 silver and 38 bronze. The final total was an incredible 121 total medals, 18 more than both earned in London 2012 and Beijing 2008.
While most of you enjoy a special tribute to the late, great Carmen Miranda and the eventual extinguishing of the flame as the flag will be passed from Rio, Brazil to the site of the 1964 Olympics when indoor volleyball made its’ debut–Tokyo, Japan…I will have my general thoughts on what I will remember most about the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Thankfully, most of the fears that took place over these last few years were greatly diminished. I think at the end of the day, Rio can breathe a huge sigh of relief. No, the city did not come through with flying colors–but somehow, someway, the tireless work of those thousands of dedicated volunteers made this Olympics way more pleasant and along with all levels of security and intelligence, greatly helped prevent any major scale tragedies unlike what marred the Munich Games of 1972 and almost ruined the Centennial Games of Atlanta in 1996.
See you all tonight with my very special blog surprise!