USA Men's Basketball Slam Dunks For Gold Against Spain
Team USA Men's Basketball went out with a bang on Sunday when the U.S. team beat Spain for the Olympic gold in an uncomfortably close game that finished 107-100 and saw an unusual amount of fouls racked up by players on both sides. The win is the second consecutive Olympic title for the U.S., who led against Spain, but the competition had the team sweating until the very end, namely thanks to NBA Lakers' Pau Gasol and Spain's captain Juan Carlos Navarro. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy. We didn't want it easy," LeBron James told Latino Fox News. "A lot of teams have won gold easy. We didn't want it that way. We're a competitive team and we love when it gets tight. That's when our will and determination kind of shows. It was the same way in '08."
The game was epic in more ways than one. James, who scored 19 points, became the second player after Michael Jordan to win the NBA title, regular season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold all in the same year. The game was also the last for two legendary figures: coach Mike Krzyzewski, who’s only ever lost one of 63 games in his head coaching career, is retiring, while Kobe Bryant, 34, announced that it was his last Olympics. "This is it for me," said Bryant after scoring 17 points in the final. "The other guys are good to go," Bryant said, adding that he would be at Rio to support his teammates in the next Olympics.
Although speculations about who will form the next Olympic team are already brewing, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo insists there’s still time. "I think we need to decompress and we plan to do that," Colangelo said. "Everything is going to be done over the next few months. I'm looking at the end of December where the future will be clear." Even James is unsure whether he’ll go onto another Olympics, as are Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, which would leave young breakout star Kevin Durant in the running for team leader in 2016. "He's 23, he can play a little more," Paul said of Durant, who pocketed 30 points in the final. "I'm glad that I got this opportunity. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and this was my second time. There's nothing like playing in an Olympics. There's nothing like playing for your country. We've played a lot of basketball over our careers, but nothing compares to this at this level."
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