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Who’ll challenge USA in the 2012 London Olympics?



Yeah, USA sure is a giant but somebody has to stand up to the Americans at some point right?

Of course, there are some contenders looking to challenge the USA this year in the 2012 London Olympic Games for the right to be regarded as the overall medals winner.

And one of which is Germany. The Germans are expected to win at least 25 medals this year and finish in the top ten of the medal tally. Games that should give Germany some hardware this year in London include canoeing, equestrian, and rowing.

Another country that really brings its A-game in the Summer Olympic Games is France.

France has high expectations going for them this year. How come? A lot of people are expecting the French to do good with fencing and cycling, France’s most medal-producing events, featured this year in the foremost sporting competition in the world.

Oh yeah, they’re good in equestrian, sailing, judo, shooting, and weightlifting too.

We also have Italy. Italy is the 4th most successful country in the history of the Olympics and they are expected to look the part in the Olympics. And in case you don’t know how good the Italians can be in the Summer Olympic Games, these guys finished in the top 5 of the medal count 11 times, 20 times in the top 10, which makes this nation one of those countries to watch out for this year in the…

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U.S. Olympic Team not as good as hyped?


Yeah, after a couple of exhibition games, that is certainly the case.

The U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team wore the throwback uniforms of the 1992 Dream Team on Sunday. The Americans’ play was much different. Kevin Durant scored 27 points and the United States held on for a narrow 86-80 victory over Argentina in an exhibition game.

The Americans got off to a hot start but their lead was down to four with 2:50 left after Manu Ginobili’s three-point play. But Kevin Durant and Chris Paul hit big 3-pointers as the U.S. won after being pushed for the second time in its four exhibition games.

Kobe Bryant added 18 points and LeBron James 15 for the U.S., which beat Brazil 80-69 in a similarly rugged game last week in Washington. Ginobili scored 23 points, Carlos Delfino had 15 and Luis Scola 14 for Argentina.

Back in Barcelona, where the Dream Team won gold 20 years earlier, the U.S. players wore that team’s throwback uniforms. The white uniforms with red and blue along the side and USA in the middle also had the letters “CD” in gold on the left shoulder in honor of coach Chuck Daly, the Dream Team coach who died in 2009.

Otherwise, the Americans are more interested in building for…

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Fernando Alonso wins 2012 F1 German GP



Yeah, it’s really looking good for Fernando Alonso winning his third career drivers’ championship.

In case you missed it, Fernando Alonso won the last race of the 2012 F1 season, believing that the hard work he put in during qualifying played a major role in his German Grand Prix success.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso proved that he is bit of a rain master as he followed up his pole position at a wet Silverstone a fortnight ago with another P1 in poor conditions at Hockenheim on Saturday.

Although conditions were dry on race day, the double World Champion was able to stay ahead of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button from McLaren on Sunday to claim his third race victory of the season.

“I don’t really know politics but it is true that the situation is not great in Spain but a Spanish driver in an Italian car, designed by a Greek man is good to win here,” he said. “We enjoy the win. Starting on pole was the key factor because it was difficult to overtake and we were not the fastest but we kept the position.”

Despite controlling the race from the front, Alonso feels it wasn’t quite as easy as it it looked.

“It was tough, definitely. It was not an easy race, maybe…”

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NBA Jerseys to have Advertisement Logos


Yeah, I guess these jerseys will be a little heavier in the next couple of seasons.

Way back in March, BDL’s Kelly Dwyer wrote a post detailing the NBA’s interest in putting advertisements on their NBA jerseys. He spoke for all of us here in noting that the idea is crass and distasteful to anyone more focused on the sport of basketball itself than on the bottom lines of multinational conglomerates and their partners within the league.

Sadly, jersey sponsorships are very much a step in the continued businessification of the sports world, and the time to make a meaningful stand against the movement was probably 20 years ago when every arena in the world traded its municipal name for that of a corporation. Some battles are lost well before they begin.

It is now time to get even more used to the idea of ads on jerseys, because it could be only a season or two away. At a meeting of the NBA’s Board of Governors on Thursday, the owners discussed how best to implement these sponsorships. After the meeting, deputy commissioner Adam Silver gave a sense of their plans at a press conference.

NBA jerseys almost certainly will feature small sponsorship patches on the shoulder area in two years, a move that league officials estimate could generate $100 million in revenues per season.

“I think it’s fair to say that our teams were excited about…

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UFC President Dana White says UFC 149 sucked



And this one was their first trip to Calgary too. Ugh.

The UFC’s success in the last 11 years has been based upon deep cards filled with evenly matched fights in which the athletes took risks in a desire to put on a show.

None of that occurred on Saturday at UFC 149 in a very lackluster main card at the Scotiabank Saddledome, in which Renan Barão claimed an easy unanimous decision over Urijah Faber to claim the interim bantamweight belt.

Fans in Calgary and in social media sites blasted Dana White before the fight for what they perceived as a poor card. A slew of injuries to high-profile fighters decimated the fight card, but White spent the week before the show angrily defending his men.

He said to anybody who would listen that “our guys always deliver.”

On Saturday, though, they did not and White wasn’t shy about sharing his displeasure. After Barão’s unanimous decision was announced, the crowd stuck around and booed loudly to let White know what it thought of the company’s first trip to Calgary.

Appearing on the post-fight show on Fuel TV, White said he was “not too excited about” how the card turned out, though he wasn’t nearly as upset with either Barão or Faber. The rest of the fighters on the main card, though, felt White’s wrath.

Heavily hyped middleweight Hector Lombard fell flat on his face…

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2012 Olympic Team can kick ’92 Dream Team’s Asses


And that folks is according to Kobe Bryant.

Could the current U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team heading to the 2012 London Olympic Games beat the 1992 Dream Team? It’s the inevitable question every Olympics.

Team chairman Jerry Colangelo already gave a thought to it when he said there was a “fair comparison” between both squads. But that doesn’t answer the question: Can this current group of guys heading to London score more points than arguably the greatest team ever assembled in a hypothetical, organized game of basketball?

Naturally, Kobe Bryant thinks it can.

“It’d be a tough one, but I think we’d pull it out,” the Team USA guard told reporters during practice on Monday.

Kobe conceded that the Michael Jordan-led Dream Team, which was comprised of NBA legends and Christian Laettner, would have the size advantage.

But where the 2012 squad lacks in size, it makes up with athleticism. And lots of it. Even though the current team is missing some of its best players due to injury, it’s still expected to dominate the Olympic competition because of its unmatched versatility and athleticism.

And isn’t the argument when comparing teams from different eras that teams from today have an advantage because they’re vastly more athletic? Kobe also pointed out that…

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Melo says Knicks can match ridiculous Lin deal



Looks like somebody is jealous.

Carmelo Anthony said Sunday it’s up to the New York Knicks to decide if they want to match the ”ridiculous contract” that the Houston Rockets have offered Jeremy Lin for the 2012-13 NBA basketball season.

It’s uncertain if they will now after agreeing to a sign-and-trade deal with Portland to bring point guard Raymond Felton back to the New York Knicks, after already signing Jason Kidd.

The Knicks have repeatedly said they would match any offer for Jeremy Lin, but the Rockets made it difficult with a three-year, $25 million deal that’s worth about $15 million in the third year. New York has until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday to match the offer sheet for the restricted free agent.

Asked if he could envision Lin being with the Knicks next season, Carmelo Anthony said: ”At this point there’s a lot going on. I stay away from that part right now. I would love to see him back, but I think he has to do what’s best for him right now.”

Anthony, speaking before practice with the U.S. Olympic team, was then reminded it’s up to the Knicks, not Lin, to decide whether he stays or goes. ”It’s not up to me,” Anthony said with a laugh. ”It’s up to the organization to say they want to match that ridiculous contract that’s out there.”

Lin had a sensational run after becoming the Knicks’ starter in…

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Drew Brees becomes NFL’s new $100 million man


Everything is ok in the Big Easy again.

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints reached a deal on par with the quarterback’s record-setting play, giving New Orleans’ fans some news they can celebrate after an offseason rife with turmoil heading to the 2012 NFL football season.

The New Orleans Saints announced Friday that they have agreed to a five-year contract with Drew Brees. A person familiar with the deal said it’s for $100 million, with $60 million guaranteed. The deal will also pay the quarterback $40 million the first year, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because financial details had not been publicly announced.

Drew Brees posted a note on his Twitter page reading, ”Deal is Done! Love you, Who Dat Nation. See you soon!” He had been tagged by the New Orleans Saints as the team’s exclusive franchise player and could not negotiate with other teams. Had a deal not been reached, the tender for a quarterback was worth $16.3 million. Brees would have had to play for that amount or hold out for a better one-year deal, which would have left his long-term future in New Orleans uncertain.

Brees skipped the Saints’ offseason practices while holding out for his new long-term contract, which now gives him the highest average annual pay ($20 million) in NFL history. Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams also has a…

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Dallas Mavericks acquire Elton Brand



They needed to, after losing both Jason Kidd and Jason Terry to free agency.

Elton Brand thought he was going in for a harmless offseason workout at the Philadelphia 76ers‘ practice facility. Instead, he got his walking papers. Summoned to a meeting by team president Rod Thorn, Brand learned earlier this month the Sixers would use their one-time amnesty provision in the new CBA to let him go. The move means the $18.1 million Brand is owed in the final season of his five-year deal will not count against the salary cap for Philadelphia.

The two-time All-Star forward wouldn’t stay unemployed for long. The Dallas Mavericks won the bidding Friday to obtain Brand off waivers, the latest in a series of moves to build their roster after a frustrating start in free agency.

”I’m pretty happy with it,” Elton Brand said by phone Friday night. ”I think it can be good for me.” Dallas also completed a one-year deal with 7-foot center Chris Kaman, who tweeted Wednesday that he had reached an agreement with the Mavericks. The Sixers also continued to overhaul their roster when they agreed to a $6 million, two-year contract with former No. 1 overall draft pick Kwame Brown.

A year after winning their first NBA title, the Mavericks couldn’t persuade Deron Williams to come play for his hometown team. Williams stayed with the Nets for their move to Brooklyn and signed his new deal early Wednesday, the first day new deals could be…

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LeBron James is ready for the 2012 London Olympics


LeBron James admits he’s tired.

The NBA’s compressed season after the lockout followed by the Miami Heat’s playoff run to the championship have worn on him, and he barely had a week off before reporting to Team USA’s Olympic training camp for the 2012 London Olympics.

But rest? LeBron James isn’t thinking about getting rest. He’s focused only on getting his second gold medal in London.

“Tomorrow is not promised, man, and this opportunity right here is not guaranteed each and every year,” LeBron said. “I got to live in the moment. I can’t say, ‘If I’m going to play now, what will happen to me next year?’ I’m not worried about that right now.”

This is LeBron’s third Olympics. He helped Team USA win the gold in 2008 in Beijing. His Heat teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh withdrew from Team USA after the NBA Finals, citing injuries. After winning his third MVP award and carrying the Heat through much of the playoffs, James could have been forgiven for also declining to play in London.

USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo said he never got a call from James’ representatives saying he might withdraw. And Colangelo never worried he would. “I love the game. I love basketball,” James said. “I made a commitment to be a part of this team and I’m fulfilling that.”

James averaged 37.5 minutes during the…

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