Weird day, weird schedule ... as a result, here are your Olybullets and your regular bullets all jumbled together.
7-2 Hamed Ehadadi -- he has had some of the biggest numbers of any player in these Olympics -- is the kind of big man project an NBA team would be willing to take on, but the State Department isn't so hot on the idea, because Ehadadi is from the "Axis of Evil" nation of Iran. Some thoughts about the impact of that ruling, and an update on efforts to clear away the red tape so that the big man can come to the U.S.
Gilbert Arenas claims his life is not interesting enough for a reality show, but is anybody buying that? (UPDATE: Listen to the whole interview. Funny stuff.)
Dan Steinberg of the Beijing Sports Smog from Team USA's win: "... the U.S. fans are already starting a 'Car-los Boo-zer, Car-los Boo-zer' chant, calling for the closest thing this team has to a walk-on. ... Dwyane Wade makes a three-pointer and points at the bench. Carmelo and Kobe and LeBron stand and point back at him and laugh. Carlos Boozer unties and reties his shoes. The journalist sitting next to me just went to get a beer. I guess we're all trying to stay interested. Like, did you know that when the PA people announce each basket, it happens in both English and Chinese? And that the Chinese version of 'Tayshaun Prince' sounds nothing like 'Tayshaun Prince?'"
British cyclist Chris Hoy is blogging for the BBC, and wrote a paragraph on training and preparation that I imagine will be recounted by hundreds of coaches and trainers in the years to come. It could apply to any sport: "If I'd even missed one session, I would have lined up with doubt and fear in my mind. What would happen if I lost the gold by one thousandth of a second, because there was a training session I skipped or didn't give my all to? Instead, I lined up here knowing no-one had trained harder than me, and that gave me enormous confidence. It's a really strange feeling today. Every day for as long as I can remember I've woken up thinking about nothing else but the Olympics. It feels so weird telling myself that I don't have to any more. I should be able to switch off, now it's all down, but of course I can't. The habits are too ingrained. I've got the three gold medals next to me now."
An elite trainer, who has just spent weeks training thousands of young American basketball players, says youngsters need to perfect jump stops, and getting to the rim with one dribble.
A very thorough breakdown of Rudy Fernandez's defense. Dave from BlazersEdge kicks if off like this: "Having watched Rudy a few times now it seems pretty clear what his defensive strengths and weaknesses are. They have held steady throughout the tournament. His biggest asset by far is his quickness. He can get to spots in a hurry. This helps him in transition and in help defense as well. Another asset is his ability to see the floor and his willingness to help out. He rotates often and roams the passing lanes. The liabilities ... A fair amount of plays simply go by him while he watches or finds himself with too much distance to cover. At times you can have fun playing the 'Who Is Rudy Guarding?' game."
Kobe Bryant on Team USA Assistant, and Portland Head Coach Nate McMillan: "He's one of the best coaches I've seen. He's no nonsense. He's straight to the point. He's a defensive minded coach. I think the fans up in Portland should feel very confident about the team they have up there, because they have a coach who's not going to let them slip. And they're going to be dangerous." Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com reacts: "I wonder if he actually thinks the Trail Blazers are going to be 'dangerous,' or if he's just being nice."
No, players can not choose their own nicknames. They can try. But in the end, nicknames belong to those who use them, not those whom they describe.
Jermaine O'Neal: Just like last year, he is announcing that he is finally healthy.
Greg Oden to Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm on the teammates he's closest to: "Well, last season I had the closest relationship with Josh McRoberts, but he got traded. An then after Josh, it was Taurean Green, but he got traded also (laughs). But it's cool because I get along with all my teammates."
Brad Rock of the Deseret News: "Before I go further, perhaps I should add this rejoinder: EXACTLY HOW MUCH REST DO THEY NEED? THEY'RE IN THEIR 20s! When I was in my teens, I played two or more hours of basketball almost every day. It wasn't at an NBA level, but I didn't have personal trainers, cooks, masseurs or even a hot tub to keep me fresh, either. I had a job and/or school to worry about, too. But I still didn't get tired. Playing basketball in the Olympics isn't that hard. Take a look at the Jazz players' minutes. Because they are on the supremely gifted 'Redeem Team,' Boozer and Williams are playing only 7.8 and 20.6 minutes per game, respectively -- far fewer than they log in the regular season. Boozer gets a bigger workout lacing his shoes."