In this edition of the Four-Point Play, I’ll take a look at that offensive Spanish photo that has Chinese fans at the Olympics in an uproar. Also, who has the No. 1 selling jersey in China? Would Kobe Bryant actually consider playing in Italy? And…How’s team USA doing in Beijing?
Pau Gasol looked like a stiff against the Celtics in the NBA Finals, but he really looks like a big one now. How could the photographer or team officials think it was a good idea to “slant” their players’ eyes as a joke before they head to a country that may be a little sensitive to it…
Gasol apologized publicly, saying he wasn’t even comfortable posing for the photo. One player, Jose Calderon, who has played three years in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors, doesn’t see the big deal with it…
“We did it because we thought it was going to be something nice, something with no problem,” Calderon told Yahoo! Sports. “But somebody wants to talk about it. It is too much of a big deal with you guys (the media) and everybody talking about that.”
I don’t think this is the media’s fault. I understand race is a huge issue in America because the multiple nationalities that are represented by U.S. citizens. In Spain, they just don’t have many Asian people and thus don’t understand why the picture could be offensive. Interesting…
2. Last year, Kevin Garnett had the No. 1 selling jersey in China (probably because of his trade to a new team). Who tops the list this year? Kobe Bryant.
That’s right, Kobe tops the top-selling jersey list this year, with Garnett coming in second. Due to his NBA Finals success, Celtics captain Paul Pierce placed fourth on the list, just behind Yao’s teammate and Rockets G/F Tracy McGrady.
Kobe is like Michael Jordan was in his heyday as far as foreign popularity. You could argue that Bryant is more popular overseas than he is outside of Los Angeles in the U.S. Speaking of which (oh I love transitions)…
3. It was first reported that LeBron James would consider playing in the European basketball leagues for the right price. Would Kobe Bryant?
Well, he told the Globe that he’s interested if he’s going to make $50 million for one season. Could Kobe leave? I think it’s kind of possible…and that’s not a good thing for the NBA.
He said he’d be interested in playing for the Euro team in Milan, Italy. He spent much of his childhood in Italy while his father played pro basketball there, and he’s fluent in Italian.
“I’d go. I’d probably go,” said Bryant, during a USA Basketball press conference on Friday morning. “Like Milan or something like that, where I grew up or something like that… Peace out.”
Bryant continued: “Do you know any reasonable person that would turn down 50 (million dollars)?”
That would be tough for the NBA (especially for the Lakers), if Kobe decides to bounce to Europe for a year. I suppose it could create popularity abroad, but I’m sure it would decrease it home. Even if you don’t like him, you still pay attention to the reigning MVP, and as far as money and interest in the NBA goes, that’s all that matters.
4. The U.S. Basketball Team is now 2-0 after beating Angola 92-76.
Angola and China were the easy teams. No one expected them to do anything. Now, the U.S. is slated to face off against Greece, who defeated them in the 2006 World Championships. Greece bettered the U.S. 101-95, even after the U.S. built a 12-point in the second quarter of that game.
The Redeem team is on a mission to dominate these Olympics and cement America’s place on top of the Basketball world again. They only garnered the Bronze in Athens in 2004, and must win the Gold in order to reiterate that they are the best basketball players in the world.
The U.S. and Greece will face off tomorrow (8/14) at 8 p.m.
Do you find the Team Spain "slanted eyes" photo offensive?