If Team USA (and San Antonio Spurs) coach Greg Popovich is pondering a career in politics after he is through with it, or basketball is through with him, it would seem he would made an ideal ambassador to Australia, as he has been down under making nice with the Aussies in preparation for an exhibition lead-up between Team USA and the Boomers ahead of the World Cup Basketball tournament in China.
He, unlike us, were we dealing with the desertions with which he has had to deal, is not whinging about the difficulty of getting young millionaires to play international basketball for the sake of patriotism.
Rather, he has been going around telling his current hosts that the Boomers have a legitimate claim on the world title.
NBA crazed Melbourne is expected to send 50,000 spectators to marvel Stadium for the first of two games in the span of the next three days.
“Huge, huge threat,” Popovich said of the Boomers on Tuesday. “They are one of the teams that can win the whole thing, without a doubt. I’m not saying that because I’m here. It’s just a fact.They’ve been close for several years, and they are hungry. They are talented. They have the toughness and physicality to go with it. I think they are one of the top contenders without a doubt.”
Maybe Melbourners would consider changing the name of the stadium to Gregg Popovich Memorial Stadium, at least while he is in town.
Diplomacy, after all, is a two way street and unlike other U.S. statesmen, he has not threatened Australia with tariffs on Australian goods bound for U.S. shores.
Fosters drinkers in the U.S. can breathe a sigh of relief.
Australia are led by Patty Mills, one of the few, the proud – Australians who are willing to play under the banner of the Southern Cross.
Mills plays for Popovich in San Antonio when the NBA is on.
The U.S. will be defending the gold won by their last Olympics squad, but they are thin, with only three players with NBA All-Star credentials, compared to 33 from the 2016 Olympics.
The Aussie national squad has lost 25 consecutive to the Yanks dating back to 1964, making it seem more like an exhibition of the Harlem Globetrotters versus the Washington Generals.