The Spanish basketball team is getting a lot of criticism for allegedly tanking their final pool play game against Brazil in order to get an easier draw to the gold medal game. Spain seemingly showed no effort in the final few minutes and with the loss dropped down to third in the group, which meant they wouldn’t see the U.S. until the finals.
One of the most outspoken critics of the Spanish team was San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili’s brother Leandro, who is a media personality in Argentina. Leandro took to Twitter to call the Spanish a bunch of “pussies.”
“If you understand just a little bit about basketball, it should be clear that Spain didn’t want to win the game,” Leandro said. “I would be OK with giving the main guys on the team a break, but not with the attitude displayed. When you’re 5-6 points behind with two minutes to go and you don’t foul and you play long possessions, that’s strange, right? … Spain has been the top FIBA team for the past five years, but they put a stain on the sport. Their attitude was uncalled for.”
I agree with what Leandro had to say, it was pretty obvious that Spain wanted to lose that game, but if they want to take advantage of the system, then it’s their right to do that. It falls on to the other teams to show them up and make them look stupid for losing on purpose.
If France had won yesterday, they would have knocked Spain out and sent them home looking like idiots. France failed and now the burden falls on Russia. The Russians are the last line of defense before the gold medal game.
Spain has been playing poorly the entire Olympics but if they manage to get past Russia, it won’t matter because they’ll be walking away with a medal, no matter how they got there. No one can prove they lost to Brazil on purpose, so people like Leandro Ginobili can complain all they want. In the end, it won’t change anything.