Ginobili: U.S., France, Spain favorites for 2012 Olympic gold

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MGThough the FIBA Americas tournament ended last month in his home country of Argentina and his team claimed gold in the pre-Olympic games,San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili is already making predictions for next year’s London Olympic games.

Ginobili says that the United States, Spain, and France will be the favorites to claim gold in the 2012 games.

”Spain is (strong), (with) Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro, and a lot of young players. To which he added (the team) was already good. Surely, the United States will go with everything and France is (strong),” said Manu to Buenos Aires newspaper La Nación.

The weird part in the interview is how Ginobili says that Argentina’s real chance in next year’s London games is going for the bronze medal?

However, the San Antonio Spurs star said he did not believe that Argentina is that far from the best teams but (the team will) fight for the bronze.

It’s hard to think of those “settling for less” words coming out of Ginobili, one of the NBA’s fiercest competitors. But as you looked at the age of the Argentinian national team, another year and possibly no basketball for half to an entire season could really put them at a disadvantage next year.

Ginobili said Argentina must go to London “with the best we have” and considered it “very important” for the return of Leo Gutierrez, who missed out the last (time) at the (FIBA Americas) tournament (with) a heart problem.

With no basketball in his immediate future, can you blame Ginobili for looking a year in advance to next years games?

Those games could potentially become the few games he plays in next year if the NBA owners and players don’t come to any sort of agreement this season.

Though I do wonder what his Spurs teammate might say to Manu about Team Brazil’s chances.

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Paul is an editor, writer and content manager for ProjectSpurs.com (@ProjectSpurs) and AnalyzingTheLeague.com (@ATLeague_NBA). Paul is also the host of the Spurscast (@TheSpurscast). Paul has been a credentialed media member covering the San Antonio Spurs and NBA since 2011. Paul has been featured on numerous radio, tv, online and podcast shows.