The Spanish basketball team is getting a lot of criticism for allegedly tanking their final pool play game against Brazil in order to get an easier draw to the gold medal game. Spain seemingly showed no effort in the final few minutes and with the loss dropped down to third in the group, which meant they wouldn’t see the U.S. until the finals.
One of the most outspoken critics of the Spanish team was San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili’s brother Leandro, who is a media personality in Argentina. Leandro took to Twitter to call the Spanish a bunch of “pussies.”
"If you understand just a little bit about basketball, it should be clear that Spain didn't want to win the game," Leandro said. "I would be OK with giving the main guys on the team a break, but not with the attitude displayed. When you're 5-6 points behind with two minutes to go and you don't foul and you play long possessions, that's strange, right? ... Spain has been the top FIBA team for the past five years, but they put a stain on the sport. Their attitude was uncalled for."
I agree with what Leandro had to say, it was pretty obvious that Spain wanted to lose that game, but if they want to take advantage of the system, then it’s their right to do that. It falls on to the other teams to show them up and make them look stupid for losing on purpose.
If France had won yesterday, they would have knocked Spain out and sent them home looking like idiots. France failed and now the burden falls on Russia. The Russians are the last line of defense before the gold medal game.
Spain has been playing poorly the entire Olympics but if they manage to get past Russia, it won’t matter because they’ll be walking away with a medal, no matter how they got there. No one can prove they lost to Brazil on purpose, so people like Leandro Ginobili can complain all they want. In the end, it won’t change anything.
Can someone please tell Pop and Buford that Alexis Ajinca will complete the puzzle of our favorite team?
HAHAHA! This is probably one of the funniest stories you guys put up this year, manu's brother calling spain a bunch of pussies! HAHAHAHA!
It's sort of like sacrificing your pawns to eventually capture the other guys' king. Some chess moves can look like mistakes because you lost a piece, but it ultimately gives you an advantage. The Spanish team didn't show up in London to beat Brazil; they came looking for one of the top medals. If what they did was wrong, Pop should stop fouling players like Reggie Evans and sitting his stars during regular season games.
Oh please, to say throwing a game on purpose is the same as fouling another player who is a bad FT shooter is ridiculous. Maybe Reggie Evans should work on his free throws in the off-season? If you're going to shoot under 50% from the line, you shouldn't be playing basketball in the first place. There is a big difference between exploiting your opponents weaknesses and intentionally not being competitive. In sports, all we want to see is players try their hardest to win. Manipulating seeding doesn't belong in any sport. Pop didn't sit his players to manipulate seeding, he sat them because he didn't want them to get injured like Manu did on the last game of the season in 2011. Get a grip, this is not even a comparison.
@CraigThomas Is it competitive to force Reggie Evans to beat you because you're not as sure you can prevent Chris Paul and Blake Griffin from doing so? Didn't Pop decide he'd rather go up against the weaker Evans than face Paul and Griffin? Is that much different than Spain deciding they'd like to face Russia instead of Team USA in the semi-final round?
Don't get me wrong - I'm a Spurs fan and glad we have a coach like Popovich. I'm not critical of him at all, I understand the goal. But I find it difficult to be to critical of Spain for tanking. I'd prefer to see them play to win every game, but watching individual games, I'd also prefer to see if we can beat teams by stopping their best players instead of forcing their weakest players to beat us.
@camelback147 maybe Spain should be kicked out like the badminton team that was trying to tank. Oh, and we still won those games that Pop rested his stars. To compare what Pop did , to what spain did is ridiculous.
@DavidSalazar They both use the rules to their advantage even when it leaves opponents upset. There's the game that takes place between two teams on the floor and the game that takes place between all the teams collectively and there are rules that govern both. Spain was simply playing both games to their advantage.
@camelback147 There is a difference when Pop sits his stars in games during the regular season. Nothing indicates that Pop wants to lose that game, he is still jumping up and down the sideline and coaching the players he does play. You don't see him sitting by on the sidelines not even paying attention to the game. He is still coaching the players and trying to get their best game out of them. He is not trying to lose the game, he is just playing the odds of resting key players and trying to give role players who wouldn't normally get much time on the court some experience.
I have always disliked the comments about Pop wanting to lose games. He just doesn't run his best players out the court for 40 minutes for 82 game a season, plus playoffs...if he did, the Spurs would pretty much be in the same place as the Pistons are right now. 4 or 5 really good seasons and then the players just can't handle it anymore...rebuild mode.
He always wants to win, but recognizes the bigger picture and plays the odds.
@saITgeek I wouldn't say Pop has wanted to lose games (it's more difficult in the NBA to lose to gain an advantage anyway), but the objective is to win the NBA Finals and he's not concerned about winning each regular season game. He strategizes to accomplish that goal even if opponents don't always like his methods or his players would prefer to play. Spain has realized the goal and played within the Olympic system to improve their chances of achieving it. The problem is not with Spain's strategy, but in the Olympic seeding system.
@camelback147 That being said...yes, it would appear that Spain was just working the system to their advantage. Not a bad strategy really...as long as they can get away with it.
You're right in every sense but he does have a point. As a professional you should play at your level no matter what the circumstances might be. Losing on purpose is indeed an act of disgrace but in the end, who can tell what it right or wrong if the referee puts a blind eye to it (remember what took place in the badminton event).