by Scott Agness – Follow Scott
USA Basketball continued its national dominance in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, which wrapped up Sunday afternoon in Madrid, Spain. Unlike we all predicted — and hoped to see — Team USA wasn’t playing Spain, France or Argentina in the Gold Medal Game. Instead, it was a surprise team: Serbia. They had knocked off France the day before to advance to the finals.
Serbia controlled the game for the first five minutes, but then Team USA, led by Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving rolled the rest of the way, finishing on top, 129-92. Irving was 6-of-7 from the field in the first quarter, including 3-for-3 from downtown.
By halftime, they had nearly doubled Serbia’s point total, and it they led by more than 40 points at one point in the second half. Pure dominance by USA’s part — and that’s how it should be.
After congratulating managing director Jerry Colangelo, coach Mike Krzyzewski, and the team, my next thought was about Paul George, the Pacers swingman who, because of a horrific right-leg injury that’ll cost him this NBA season, was unable to take part in World Cup play.
I wrote on Twitter that USA Basketball should do the right thing and give George a gold medal. If he hadn’t suffered the injury in their scrimmage – he hustled back on defense as to not prevent the easy layup – he would have been a starter and key contributor on the team. Instead, he was forced to watch at home in Indy with a split on his right leg.
Following their win, and shortly after having the gold medal placed around the player’s and coach Krzyzewski’s neck, coach made a phone call. This came even before he addressed the media — it was that important.