A collection of the greatest basketball players in the world, playing together on the same team and representing the United States of America won their semifinals matchup and will be playing for a gold medal in a competition that comes around only once every four years. Spain did the same, beating Russia to face the United States. Sadly this was not the big story in the American basketball world. If not that, then what was?
Sure, it was expected the United States men's basketball team would make it to the gold-medal game. It is even expected they will win it against their predicted opponent Spain, but what kind of news is that?
But Dwight Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers!
Now that is news!
TNT's Craig Sager, working for NBC at the Olympics was so enamored by this deal that he approached Spain's Pau Gasol of the Lakers and Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder about the trade's impact. Gasol was questioned during pregame stretches before their semifinal game against Russia while Ibaka was questioned after their victory.
"I had to give him something," Gasol said, "so he would go away and I could finish stretching."
"Why are you asking me that now?" Ibaka answered.
Obviously representing your country at an international competition is not nearly as important as a single player's childish antics, is it?
Is this really what has become of professional sports, especially in the NBA?
By no means is my frustration directed towards fans of the Lakers. Their team added a great player they hoped the team would be able to deal for, for well over a month. The deal went through and that is wonderful, but I have to shake my head at the fact that some reporters in London whose job it is to cover the Olympics are focusing their attention on the trade rather than the remarkable achievements by both the Spanish and American national teams.
I suppose in some circles the importance of one man outshines representatives of two great nations in athletic competition.
More Olympics commentary from Paul Rados:
Paul Rados' first memory of the Olympic Games was watching with his family as a child in 1984 rampantly cheering for Team USA in any and every sport. He has been hooked ever since. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados