It was already the fourth quarter and Spain had just closed with 6 points deep when LeBron James brought his team 5 victorious points with a three-point shot and a driving right-handed slam dunk.
“This is all about USA. It’s not about me,” James told Craig Sager of NBC. “It’s about the three letters on our chest.”
Even after the first half of this amazing game, everybody thought that the post-game talk will be about Spanish guard Juan-Carlos Navarro, who got 19 points before the intermission on 4-for-6 shooting. In the third quarter it was Pau Gasol’s turn to make his team proud by exploiting the only weakness of the US team, and that is the lack of front court depth and interior size.
“We were close,” Pau said after accepting his silver medal. “But you almost have to play the perfect game to beat them.”
Now, depending on what turn the age-limit rule discussions take, USA Basketball chairman and managing director Jerry Colangelo will have to take the difficult decision of finding a replacement for Mike Krzyzewski, which will be able to create the bond with his team and be get the players ne loyal to him, just as the Duke coach managed to do with the All-Starts.
“Man, it’s going to be tough,” Kevin Durant said. “They’ve got to find somebody that can relate to the players in the right way and motivate you and push your buttons, but also respecting you like the professional you are. Coach K. was great for me. And I know these other guys feel the same way.”