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Hello deanwoodward,

"One of the announcers here was implying that there could have been a delay between the time Larry Brown asked for the timeout and the time it was granted."

Unfortunately I was looking elsewhere and did not see when Brown asked for the time out. What the announcer said seems to be what the american team was saying after the game ended.
I have two comments: first, unless we are talking about a really huge delay (more than 30seconds which is unusual) it was clear that for about the last minute Spain had surrendered, a few seconds more or less do not change the picture. Second -and it is my understanding that Spanich team used this argument as well- Brown could easily correct an alleged mistake by sending the players back at the court. Instead he was giving instructions as if it were the closest match ever, no matter that couple of players (I think James and two others) were rather looking the dancers than listening to Brown.
The other bench had started complaining immediately with ironic "bravos" and one of the assistant coaches (not Brown) made gestures towards them, whose significance I am not able to decipher (was looking something between "no big deal, take it easy" and "sorry, now let's move on").


"USA team has been playing in front of hostile crowds in the Olympics. Larry Brown might have wanted to rub it in their faces."

Either it was intentional or a mistake. Both can't be.

I do not share the view about hostile crowds for this game at least.
The tickets for the USA games were perhaps the first that got sold out before the games start. People do not rush to buy tickets in order to boo. Basketball is big in Greece and the NBA players are quite popular. It was clear to me from inside that the majority of the audience was rooting for Spain. The audience was not Greek only. I can understand the Lithuanians rooting for Spain too, an American defeat would have made it easier for them to arrive at gold (it is supposed to be so), I also think that Greeks (who at the time did not know the result of the game Argentina-Greece) would prefer to play against Spain than USA. Looks natural from a fan's point of view. There is also the support for the underdog, makes the game interesting, if one team is 25 ahead at half time the game becomes sort of boring. It should not be a surprise that people were applauding Spain more than USA. In more than one occasion the audience was applauding good efforts by the US team, applauds were very high at couple of "showtime" instances. There were almost no boos at all with very few exceptions about some officiating decisions at a critical point of the game and of course there were bad reactions with Brown's time out (the Spanish crowd behind the basket went furious, chanting "hijo de puta" etc, through the whole game they had not been so "angry" before). The overall atmoshpere towards US was neutral not hostile, there is a difference between "more cheers for Spain" and "hostility for USA".

There is also another issue with how hostile or not the audience has been. I am not sure how easy it is for me to try explaining it. I can understand your impression if you have never watched a game here. On the other hand I have watched live or from TV way too many games in the last 20-25 years. Hostile in my books means throwing items, really loud boos, I can easily remember at least two occasions when the audience had behaved in much worse ways than the way they behaved towards USA (I repeat I believe they showed acceptable behaviour towards your basketball team). It is a pitty that I can not show you the games during Eurobasket 87 (especially the final Greece-URSS) and the games from the World Championship in Greece (I forget the year I think it was 1998) and especially the final game SerbiaMontenegro - Lithuania and the medal ceremony. It was the first time I think the Serbs were present at a major event after 1992, Greece was one of the most friendly country for them worldwide on the political field, many of their star players and almost their whole coaching team were working in Greece and were very popular here, all journalists knew their players very well (which means plenty of interviews and all that), they had kept saying how much they like it that their first appearance after the embargo years would be in front of Greek audience and how it would feel like home. Wish you could see the medal ceremony and what happened there, due to the events in court there have been even riots later that night outside the Greek embassy in Belgrade. Let alone games for local competitions with lots of violence involved. See, in my eyes the audience during the Olympics basketball is looking like church compared to other experiences. Still like I said, I can understand how an American might form an impression of hostility against the basketball team from what they read all that time and what they see compared to their US experience.


<after the games end I might post some comments about stuff I watched, another game at water polo USA-Serbia Montenegro was much more unfriendly towards USA imho compared to the basketball game>
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