View Full Version : LeBron shines against Turkey, morphs into FIBA player

08-01-2008, 10:20 AM
MACAU -- Five seconds into the game, LeBron James pulled off a defensive move that was four years in the making.

Turkey controlled the opening tip of Thursday's exhibition game -- Team USA's first match on foreign soil since the summer of 2006 -- and Ersan Ilyasova went straight to the basket and put up a soft shot that bounced off the rim and was headed straight through the hoop.

It appeared it was about to be 2-0 deficit for the United States, but that wasn't to be.

The reason?

James timed his leap perfectly and snatched the ball right as it was entering the cylinder -- a goaltending violation in the NBA, but not under FIBA rules, in which the ball is fair game once it hits the rim.

"Even some of the guys on Turkey were calling for a goaltend, but it was legal," James said. "I've been playing FIBA ball for four years now, so I kind of know the rules."

Not only was it legal, it was a sign of things to come as James set the tone for what turned into a dominant performance -- not only by him, but by his teammates, too -- in a 114-82 victory in which James shot 8-for-9 and scored a team-high 20 points in just 22 minutes.

After taking the ball out of the hoop, James went coast-to-coast and dropped in a bank shot, a play that was followed by a Kobe Bryant steal leading to a Carmelo Anthony 3-pointer, then a block by Dwight Howard that left the Turks wearing demoralized faces less than a minute into the game.

American players have historically had trouble adjusting to the FIBA rule that allows defensive players to swat the ball off the rim once it has touched the cylinder because their muscle memories are so conditioned to leave the ball alone. James, however, made it look as though he'd been making that play all his life.


08-01-2008, 10:24 AM
Ricky Davis will shine against Turkey, it's no biggie.

08-01-2008, 10:42 AM
Just the beginning of a dominant performance that the US will put on in these Olympics

08-01-2008, 10:50 AM
wade shined even brighter today vs Lithuania

08-01-2008, 11:10 AM
lol at the ricky davis comment
more boards for ricky buckets

Mile High Champ
08-01-2008, 11:20 AM
Its turkey, Untill they beat Argentina, Spain etc it does not matter at all. I really think Spain is the team they have to worry about..

08-01-2008, 12:53 PM
Yea I watched the game yesterday afternoon when I got home from work.....I love DVRs......I'll watch them against Lituania later......Only thing is that me being on PSD and ESPN radio all day, I always hear the damn winner.....When the games gets exciting, I gotta stay away from ESPN and PSD to create more entertainment.....

Anyways, Hedo wasn't even playing and they kept it close in the 1st quarter and got back at it early 3rd....