Written by Chris “Preach” Smith
Redemption truly began at 9:28 of the second quarter of today’s basketball showdown between the United States and Greece. If you’ve listened to the sportscaster chatter, this was to be the true test of “The Redeem Team”‘s mettle since Greece had outplayed them in the World Championships only two years ago. And Team USA answered strongly, winning 92 – 69 and guaranteeing a spot in the medal round. It was intimidating defense that won this game but one offensive play was the signature.
Picture it. Dwayne Wade comes up with a steal, runs at a breakneck pace across the half- court line and is about to careen out of bounds when in one instant, he flings the ball back the other way towards the lane where Kobe Bryant is trailing with a Greek defender in tow. And then Kobe defies not only gravity but imagination as he takes only one step, maybe two and leaps.
In one motion he catches the ball and slams it home over the Greek player, who has now just become part of what will be one of the better selling posters in history. The stadium erupts. I wig out, forgetting that I was supposed to have left my house for work five minutes ago. My boy shoots me a text saying, ‘How the fuck did he catch that alley?’
Dwayne Wade steals the show yet again and puts his stamp on the games. I know I’ll see this play over and over again. But it’ll still be one hell of an alley-oop play. Maybe the best that these Olympics will ever see.