Friday, August 27, 2004

Booing a time-out

Apparently, the fans were booing at the end of the game because they felt the Spanish team was insulted by the Americans when they called a timeout with an eleven point lead and 23 seconds left in the game.

Funny how cultural differences can cause trouble. I didn't see that timeout as an insult. Any basketball coach can recall those miracle games when some team hits 4 straight 3-pointers in the last few seconds to snatch a victory. I figured that when Larry Brown, who I have to say I've never really liked, called that TO he didn't feel comfortable yet. His team is more than capable of throwing the ball away 3 times.

It's been pretty obvious that these guys have learned to respect their opponents, which is more than any other recent US Olympic team has done.

As for the officiating, it was truly awful. There should be no referees who work outside the US or Europe. Yesterday's Mexican ref was way out of his depth. He was the only person on the court who didn't belong there.

UPDATE: Here's a little more detail from USA Today:
Brown, as required by international rules, originally signaled the scorer's table for a timeout with the U.S. struggling against a full court press in the final minute of the game with an eight-point lead. When the officials finally granted it with 23 seconds left, however, the U.S. had control of the game.
So, the difference in the rules helped create this problem.