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#pounditThursday, August 13, 2020

Articles tagged: 2016 Summer Olympics

Charles Barkley: Team USA struggling due to flawed roster

Charles-Barkley

After a pair of early blowouts, Team USA has found it much tougher with a trio of tight wins. The inevitable questions have started, and Charles Barkley thinks the issue is inherent in the roster.

Barkley told Sports360AZ.com that the Americans play too much isolation.

“It’s not a good team to put together,” Barkley said, via ESPN. “If you take away DeAndre Jordan, every guy on that team is a ball-dominant guy. You see them playing a lot of one-on-one basketball.

“That’s the thing I’ve noticed more than anything. Like, you have to understand when you put a team together like that, you have to have some role players.”

Barkley thinks the team has too many players who want to shoot.

“You take a guy like Kyle Lowry, who is a hell of a player, he wants to score. Kyrie [Irving] wants to score. Kevin [Durant] wants to score. DeMar [DeRozan] wants to score. So, I think they have been really stagnant offensively.

“When they put that team together in the future, they have to realize we can’t have just really, really great offensive players. They gotta have players that if they don’t get a shot, they’re not just gonna stand around and mope.”

At least one of Team USA’s players has diagnosed some of the problems. We’ll see if they have an easier time with Argentina on Wednesday.

Olympic judges sent home following Michael Conlan match-fixing accusations

Michael-Conlan

Several boxing judges and referees have been sent home from the Rio Olympics in the wake of claims that they have been fixing matches.

AIBA, the organization that governs amateur boxing, released a statement on Wednesday announcing the decision.

“The concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” the statement read, according to Sky Sports. “AIBA will not shy away from its responsibilities and is fully committed … [to] always acting in the boxers’ utmost interest.”

AIBA made it clear that the decision to send officials home from Rio was not an admission of guilt.

“With regard to corruption, we would like to strongly restate that unless tangible proof is put forward, not rumors, we will continue to use any means, including legal or disciplinary actions to protect our sport and its (referees and judges) community whose integrity is constantly put into question,” the statement continued. “The organization will not be deterred by subjective judgements made by discontented parties. We welcome all parties to come forward and provide evidence in order to take appropriate and immediate action.”

After Russian heavyweight Evgeny Tishchenko defeated Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit in a gold medal bout Monday night, fans mercilessly booed the unanimous decision. Many felt Levit clearly dominated the fight.

It was more of the same on Tuesday, with Russia once again the beneficiary of a decision from the judges. Vladimir Nikitin defeated Irishman Michael Conlan, who immediately went berserk and flipped the double-bird at the judges. He then accused AIBA of being “cheats” in a profanity-laced rant on live television, which you can see here.

Conlan weighed in on Wednesday’s decision with the following tweet:

Not standing by the judges that were there to begin the Olympics will surely lead to even louder scrutiny.

H/T Deadspin

Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen ordered to stay in Brazil; judge questions testimonies

Ryan-Lochte

The situation involving the alleged armed robbery of Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. Olympic swimmers in Rio has taken a bizarre turn, as a judge on Wednesday ordered the seizure of two of the swimmers’ passports and told them to remain in Brazil.

With investigators trying to determine exactly what happened when the four athletes were heading home from a party in a taxi early Sunday morning, Judge Keyla Blanc wants an opportunity to question Lochte and Jimmy Feigen further. In a statement released Wednesday, the judge cited discrepancies in what Lochte and Feigen told police.

That’s a problem, as Lochte already left Brazil and returned to the U.S. The San Antonio Express-News reported that Feigen was still in Brazil as of Wednesday morning. It is unclear if the other two swimmers are still in Rio, as the U.S. Olympic Committee said it is against policy to make athlete travel plans public.

Lochte supposedly told authorities that “a robber” approached the swimmers and demanded they hand over their money after the cab they were riding in was pulled over. According to investigators, Feigen said “some robbers” approached the athletes but that only one of them was armed with a gun.

In addition, a law enforcement official feels that the four swimmers were not acting like men who had just been robbed when they returned to the Olympic village Sunday morning. That conclusion was drawn from the following security footage:

A Rio police official said Tuesday that investigators have not been able to track down the driver of the taxi or find anyone who witnessed the alleged crime. That same official also said Lochte and his teammates were too intoxicated to remember details of the robbery.

Lochte already admitted that the swimmers were hesitant to report the incident at first out of fear that they may get in trouble for venturing away from the Olympic village to attend a party. You can read his chilling account of the robbery here.

DeAndre Jordan: Winning Olympic gold would be better than NBA title

ragan-smith-deandre-jordan

DeAndre Jordan has never won an NBA title, but he has a very good shot at taking home a gold medal with Team USA in Rio. He says he’d rather have the latter.

“I think they’re above NBA rings,” Jordan told ESPN’s Marc Stein and Mark Schwartz of the notion of winning gold. “I may get in trouble for saying that, but I believe that. I feel like this is more special. You’re not just playing teams in the U.S. You’re playing teams from all over the world. And this is even more special because there’s an NBA champion crowned every year, but this is every four years.

“You’ve got to really think about that, man, because it’s extremely special.”

They’re similar comments to those made by one of Jordan’s fellow ringless U.S. teammates. Detractors will no doubt look at this as a losing mentality, and no matter what Jordan says, the fact is, he’ll be judged ultimately on his NBA success. Charles Barkley won two Olympic gold medals, but all anyone remembers is that he never won a ring.

Police: Ryan Lochte said he was intoxicated, could not remember details

Ryan-Lochte

Authorities in Rio say they have not had much luck in finding out who robbed Ryan Lochte and three of his Team USA teammates at gunpoint over the weekend, and the swimmers themselves were apparently not that helpful in the investigation.

A Rio police official told The Associated Press on Tuesday that investigators have been unable to track down the driver of the taxi or find any witnesses to question. Lochte and teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen reportedly did not call police, and they supposedly told authorities the next day that they were too intoxicated to remember many details of what had happened.

The group did not call police, authorities said, and officers began investigating once they saw media reports in which Lochte’s mother spoke about the robbery. Police interviewed Lochte and one other swimmer, who said they had been intoxicated and could not remember what type and color of taxi they rode in or where the robbery happened, the police official said. The swimmers also could not say what time the events occurred.

There was some confusion on Sunday about whether the robbery actually took place, with Lochte’s mother describing a “terrifying” text message she received from her son but the IOC denying anything happened. Lochte would later tell USA Today that the swimmers kept quiet about the incident initially “because we were afraid we’d get in trouble” for venturing outside the Olympic village for a party.

The AP notes that street crimes in Rio often go unsolved and unreported, so it is not that unusual for investigators to be lacking information. Lochte signed a statement on Monday confirming that what he told police is true.

“Ryan was a hundred percent cooperative and fully available when they reached out to us for an interview,” Lochte’s attorney Jeff Ostrow said. “It doesn’t behoove Ryan and anyone else to make up a story.”

Lochte has already given some chilling details of the robbery, and there’s no reason to think he fabricated them. Our initial thought about the confusion was that the swimmers were afraid to look bad for going to a party in a dangerous area they are not all that familiar with. It sounds like that was the case.

H/T Deadspin

Top five stories for Team USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics

Simone Biles

The 2016 Summer Olympics Games in Rio have provided some spectacular and historic moments thus far. There have been Olympic records shattered, world records set, new heroes born, and countries that have never before won a medal stepping into the limelight.

Even for those representing the United States of America there have been instances of monumental and life-changing success. In some cases, there has even been controversy.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the top five moments for the USA.

5. Lilly King makes waves, figuratively and literally

(more…)

Many Olympic volunteers quitting over alleged mistreatment in Rio

Rio Olympics

Nearly one third of the volunteers who signed on to work the Summer Olympics in Rio have quit because of the alleged mistreatment they have experienced over the past two weeks.

Two volunteers — now former volunteers — recently told CBC News that Olympic officials have been ordering volunteers to work long hours without adequate breaks and meals. Luis Moreira, who was one of roughly 50,000 volunteers in Rio, quit his “job” last week because his schedule was too unpredictable and he wasn’t eating enough.

“Many volunteers had to quit because they had to work two weeks in a row, schedules were messed up, lots of people quit because of the food: they were told to work eight, nine hours and were only provided with a little snack,” Moreira explained. “I don’t think the organizing committee had enough consideration for people’s lives and welfare. It was as though the organizing committee was doing us a favor. The committee uses the volunteers to make money, uses us for free labor.”

As the CBC notes, IOC officials in Rio have been earning a $900-per-day stipend. The IOC has made more than $5 billion since the 2012 Olympics. Mark Adams, the director of communications for the committee, says having more paid employees is an option but he feels volunteers are the “backbone” of the Olympics.

Aisha Marcelina, a 23-year-old volunteer, is grinding it out but does not seem happy.

“Before I started volunteering here, I used to sleep in until really late,” she said. “But now I’m getting more into the habit. They ask us to come to work really early and then hold us back when it’s time to go home.”

Olympic organizers are now trying to silence volunteers, as one woman told the CBC her supervisor has forbidden her from talking about the lousy work environment.

There have been a ton of problems in Rio, none more publicized than the disgusting water in these pools. The Olympics never go off without a hitch, but it seems like Rio officials have done a particularly poor job as hosts.