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SBD/August 10, 2012/Olympics
Source: Age Limit For Olympic Basketball Unlikely To Be Implemented For Rio Games
Published August 10, 2012
RETURN TO INNOCENCE WANTED: A USA TODAY editorial states the U.S. men’s basketball team “is on track to win its fifth gold medal in the past six Olympics,” and the women’s team is “closing in on its fifth consecutive gold.” The editorial: “Good for them, and America, but something is missing.” The U.S. “Dream Teams” were compared to the former Soviet Union men’s hockey teams. The editorial: “If they win, it’s expected. Ho hum. And if they lose, it’s a huge blow to national pride. Sure, today’s system is a lot more equitable. It’s just not more exciting” (USA TODAY, 8/10).
KING FOR MORE THAN A DAY: USA TODAY's Jeff Zillgitt reports U.S. F LeBron James’ “transformation from NBA public enemy to celebrated star is moving at high speed.” The transition has been “multifaceted," and he has the opportunity during the Olympics to "expand his brand internationally and capitalize on his popularity." He has “undergone a significant image change" since The Decision two years ago, a "rehabilitation that has the chance to make a significant impact for James and others.” Forbes listed James’ income from sponsorships at $40M from June '11- June '12 "in endorsements from companies such as Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and State Farm, among others.” Sports Business Group President David Carter said, “He’s already at the top of the charts for endorsements, but if he builds his brand for the long term, he could make a killing.” Zillgitt notes James has a “team of business associates working on deals.” He will “shoot TV commercials for partners shortly after he returns to the U.S., in time for the start of the NBA season" (USA TODAY, 8/10).
MAMBA NO. 5: USA TODAY’s Zillgitt Thursday noted the title of the “world’s most popular NBA player” goes to U.S. G Kobe Bryant. The five-time NBA champ drew "more attention from international journalists than any other U.S. player” during the team’s introductory news conference in London, and it is clear during Team USA introductions at games that Bryant “receives the loudest ovation.” Bryant’s jersey for the sixth straight year was the “top seller in China, and when the NBA released its first list of top-selling international jerseys in June, Bryant’s name was atop that list, too.” Bryant said, “In Asia, everything came to a head at the last Olympics (2008 in Beijing). In Europe last summer, we did a nice tour with Nike. The response was more than what we expected. At those two points, that’s when we realized how big it is” (USA TODAY, 8/9).
SHOUT OUT TO THE LADIES? The GUARDIAN's, Anna Hiatt wrote the U.S. women's basketball squad “isn't just good; they're great.” Since winning bronze in ‘92, the U.S. women have “won 40 consecutive Olympic matches and, as a result, four consecutive gold medals.” They came to London “searching for their fifth.” The U.S. women's basketball team is “one of the most historically dominant teams in Olympic history.” But Hiatt wrote, “Where are the ESPN and Sports Illustrated covers dedicated to them? Or the NBA-style media blitz? It shouldn't still be a struggle for a team that should be the crown jewel of the US to draw an American audience” (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 8/9).