When Spain chose which athlete would carry its flag into the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics, the soccer-mad country chose its most decorated and best athlete — Rafael Nada. The tennis powerhouse. Seriously, name a better athlete who has won more, or is more deserving of the honor.
But Nadal has pulled out due to an injured knee.
So now Lakers big man Pau Gasol gets the honor of carrying the flag, something he confirmed on his twitter account.
Very happy to be the carrier of the Spanish flag. One of the happiest moments of my career. Thanks Federations and COE!
Gasol led Spain to a silver medal four years ago in Beijing and they are the one team that has a serious shot at defeating the United States in London. As a two-time NBA champion he’s the best hoopster his country has ever produced.
Congrats to him. Still going home with another silver medal.
Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.
For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.
DeAndre Jordan‘s free-throw problems – 38.7% this season, 41.5% for his career – are mental.
You can’t watch this trip to the line and convince me otherwise.
Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.
Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.
So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.
So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?
Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.