Tokyo -- I haven't been in the States in three weeks, so I'm not sure how the U.S. bronze medal performance came off back home, where I'm headed now. I've written about it and talked about it a great deal. I'm not going to rehash it. It was a quality win over Argentina and it is a good basis to build on.
This team is improved and it is on pace to take the gold in Beijing, no matter what the perception is. It might not happen, sure. You know what, after watching Spain rip apart Greece in the world championship game last night even without Pau Gasol, I'm not sure the U.S. would've beaten them. It was their time.
It has been a wondrous 20-day trip here, where I learned a lot about international basketball and Team USA that I tried to pass on to all of you. Here's a list of my interesting experiences, in random order:
--Seeing a guy wearing a T-shirt that read "Voyeurism."
--Watching a live bug be deep fried.
--Seeing the Japanese fans attempt to do "YMCA."
--Making an eagle on my first ever hole of park golf.
--Watching the Japanese load and unload a 747 in less than 20 minutes.
--Hearing Dwyane Wade say "As a grown man, I never say I miss another grown man" when a journalist asked if he missed Shaq.
--Seeing a guy wearing a T-shirt that read "I'd (blank) me."
--Witnessing ESPN's own Chris Sheridan attempt to get a beer after last call in a British-style pub by demanding it in an Australian accent and claiming he was from London.
--Seeing the Tokyo streets crawling with businessmen at 3 a.m. in Ginza on the weeknights, pouring out of clubs where Americans weren't allowed.
--Being offered to have a my palm read by a Geisha with a flashlight.
--Seeing a girl wearing a T-shirt that read "I No Fake."
--Being served a shrimp with the head still on it.
--Hearing LeBron say "I love FIBA basketball."
--Having my french toast come with "gum syrup."
--Being charged 4,500 yen ($40) for six chicken kabobs.
--Seeing smiling couples coming out of "Love hotels."
--Seeing a guy in a T-shirt that said "Zero Facsination."
--Being excited about a 13-hour flight...because it is headed home.