Leandro Ginobili, the older brother of Spurs star Manu Ginobili, has a reputation in Argentina for being honest and outspoken. He is a media personality, as he writes for the Spanish newspaper Ole and does color commentary for a state-owned TV station. And he doesn’t think much of the Spanish national basketball team.
After Brazil defeated Spain 88-82 on Monday, Leandro took to Twitter to blast the Spanish team for what he perceived to be throwing the game. Since it was their last game before the knockout round, Ginobili believes Spain lost intentionally to avoid playing the US later in the week. According to Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype.com, the tweet roughly translated to calling the Spanish players “pussies.”
“If you understand just a little bit about basketball, it should be clear that Spain didn’t want to win the game,” Ginobili told HoopsHype.com. “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.”
If Spain’s plan was to avoid Team USA until a potential matchup in the gold medal game, it worked. They defeated France on Wednesday in the quarterfinal — although one of their players had to get punched in the man region in the process — and will face Russia in the semifinal on Friday. As for whether or not giving less than 100% to avoid the best team in the tournament would be cowardly, that’s up for you to decide. The idea is to win a gold medal, so perhaps the Spanish team was simply doing what they thought gave them the best chance to accomplish that goal.
H/T I am A GMGoogle+