Kenneth Faried disappointed Spain was eliminated from FIBA World Cup: ‘I wanted to beat them in their own country’

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Before Spain was unexpectedly eliminated from the FIBA World Cup with a loss to France on Wednesday, many were predicting that they would have a solid chance of taking down Team USA in the gold medal game.

Spain had cruised to this point of the tournament, crushing opponents with a surgical offensive attack that seemed far more fluid than that of the USA, and the front line talent in place that featured Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka was believed to be ready to cause all kinds of trouble for the Team USA bigs.

Kenneth Faried has been the MVP for Team USA thus far, and didn’t appreciate being taken lightly where a theoretical matchup with Spain was concerned. He called the chatter “massively disrespectful,” and following an easy win over Lithuania that landed his squad in the championship game, he expressed disappointment that he wouldn’t be able to prove his detractors wrong.

From K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Kenneth Faried said way everybody hyped Spain was disrespectful to U.S. Disappointed won’t get chance “to beat them in their own country.”

Faried on Spain: “Everybody was being arrogant, borderline disrespectful to us, saying we wouldn’t be able to match up vs. their bigs (more)

Faried on Spain: “I just took it as, ‘OK. Once we meet them in the final, we’re going to see what happens.’ We can’t even see what happens.”

There are so many platitudes that are exchanged between athletes and the media that these comments from Faried come across as extremely refreshing. These guys are as competitive as they come, and it’s nice to finally hear one of them admit that they’d take all kinds of pleasure in defeating an opponent that’s received what has turned out to be an undue amount of praise.