Nobody is going to argue that this was the best men’s basketball team the United States has sent to the Olympics. They’re gold medalists today thanks largely to Kevin Durant — throughout the tournament and including the title game against France; deciding that play time was over, and proceeding to wreck shop. But they’re gold medalists today, extending America’s streak to four straight Olympic titles.
And with that, there are some cool bits of history. Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, who flew to Tokyo right after winning the NBA title with the Bucks, joined an illustrious list of double champs in the same summer.
1992: Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen
2012: LeBron James
2016: Kyrie Irving
2021: Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton
Whoever wrote two months ago that “part of the problem with the Bucks is that Middleton is their other big-money guy to go with [Giannis] Antetokounmpo, and for someone in that role, there are too many stinkers in big games on his resume…” that guy must feel pretty stupid now.
Durant, less than 24 hours after agreeing to a $198 million contract extension with the Nets, joined Carmelo Anthony as the only men ever to win Olympic hoops gold three times. Anthony, who also won bronze in 2004, still shares the men’s record for total hoops medals with Sergei Belov and Gennadi Volnov of the Soviet Union.
Also, here it is 2021, and the number of Olympic gold medals won by former Seattle SuperSonics continues to rise! Just further enhancement of Vin Baker’s legacy, really.
Last, but not least, is Rudy Gobert of France, who adds an Olympic silver to his bronze in 2020’s Deadspin Idiot of the Year, uh, contest. History is all around!
Congratulations to Major League Baseball for reaching a point where an above-average player for a contending team can test positive for steroids and it’s not a major story. Ramón Laureano, the A’s center fielder, got popped for nandrolone and his season is over with an 80-game suspension.
Ho hum. Remember when that would have been a huge deal in the middle of a pennant race? Well, Oakland slotted Starling Marte into center for Friday night’s game against Texas… three years after Marte got popped for nandrolone and served an 80-game suspension. Maybe next the A’s can sign Pep Guardiola.