Posts Tagged ‘Michael Phelps’

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 244) Summer Games

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Patriotism. Drama. Intrigue. Tom Foolery (Ryan Lochte). World class competition in every sporting endeavor, familiar and foreign.

We’ve gotten it all and more from the Rio Olympics, and that includes plenty of drama and intrigue from the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team in their quest to win gold (they face Spain in Friday’s semifinals).

Will they or won’t they make it through? The basketball world awaits the answer from Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the rest of the NBA stars who made the trip.

Meanwhile, those of us not in Rio are left to ponder the possibilities, beyond Rio and what’s in store for the stars there and those who are watching from afar. LeBron James (who has been extremely busy this summer after ending Cleveland’s 52-year title drought in June) has already admitted that he wishes he was in Rio playing and has not ruled out future Olympic competitions. He’s also talked about his dreams and aspirations beyond his playing career, things we’ve rarely heard him speak on in the past.

Listening to LeBron reflect on the bigger picture inspired us to do the same this week here at headquarters. How many guys have done what he’s done, lived up to the hype, really exceeded by most estimates, while maintaining some semblance of order in their lives?

How many guys have gone from phenom/can’t-miss-prospect to the future Hall of Fame/all-time great heights LeBron has scaled and conquered during his career?

The list is short in any sport (with decorated Olympians Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and others representing this summer), and LeBron might sit at the very top, even with plenty of years in his playing career still ahead of him.

We go off the map on this and so much more, including a mention of volleyball’s greatest competitor and one of my favorite all-time Olympians, Karch Kiraly, on Episode 244 of The Hang Time Podcast … Summer Games.


As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of, Lang Whitaker of’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.


Hang Time Podcast (Episode 243) Featuring John Schuhmann

HANG TIME BIG CITY — It’s the dog days of summer here in New York City, where the thermometer is knocking on triple-digits and the humidity ain’t far behind. In fact, it’s so muggy these days that out of the entire Hang Time Crew, I was the only one to show up for work today. (Sekou Smith and Rick Fox have presumably temporarily decamped to cooler climates.)

But one place that’s been pretty nice this summer is Rio De Janeiro, where the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are taking place.podcast_logo_170

Here in the United States, the stories of these games thus far has been Katie Ledecky‘s dominance, as well as awesome showings from the Simones (Biles and Manuel) and the #FinalFive. Oh, and Michael Phelps continuing to rack up gold medals.

And as the Rio Olympics finish up week one, one team that is still finding their footing is the USA Men’s Basketball team. After beginning with a couple of blowout wins against China and Venezuela, Team USA had to overcome a halftime deficit to beat a fired up Australia on Wednesday night.

It doesn’t get much easier. Tonight Team USA will take on Serbia, then they play France over the weekend, and then the medal rounds begin.

Some things we’ve seen haven’t come as a huge surprise. Carmelo Anthony, for instance, continues to prove just how well-suited his game is for international play. Some other things, like Team USA’s defense, may not be living up to their billing. And we know he can knock down big shots, but is Kyrie Irving the right man to run the point for this squad?

To get an inside look at Team USA’s performance thus far in these games, we dialed up our man in Rio,’s John Schuhmann, who has been on the ground for every game and practice, to get a total picture of what’s gone right and what’s gone wrong for Team USA.

We will talk rings (Olympic and NBA) plus so much more this week with Schuhmann on Episode 243 of The Hang Time Podcast.


As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of, Lang Whitaker of’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.


Ryder Cup brings out ‘His Whereness’

Everybody’s got to be somewhere, but Michael Jordan’s whereabouts were of much interest this week and weekend than yours or, at least, mine. With the Ryder Cup golf championship being layed at Medinah Country Club in the Chicago suburbs – and with Jordan serving as an advisor to Team USA at Carolina pal Davis Love III’s request – the Bulls’ Hall of Famer was a target for celebrity snooping.

There were several sightings of His Airness, not only on the course but at some of the finer eateries in the city and ‘burbs.

A brief rundown of His Whereness, thanks to the Chicago Tribune’s plucky sports nightlife/gossip coverage:

Team USA — including Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Fred Couples — had dinner Monday and Thursday at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse in Lombard. Michael Jordan, who was named Team USA advisor, joined the guys Thursday at Harry Caray’s and signed autographs and posed for photos with patrons.

Team Europe – including Jose Maria Olazabal, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia — dined Tuesday at Harry Caray’s in Lombard. Team USA opted for Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Oak Brook that night. Woods and co. arrived on a bus and entered through the back.


Everyone Wants To Be A Witness

Kobe Bryant took this shot on the practice track before Jamaica’s amazing Usain Bolt set an Olympic record in winning the 100 meters Sunday night.

LONDON — The eyes of the world were on the Olympics and Usain Bolt Sunday night, and that includes those of the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team.

As star-studded a group as they are, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the only athletes competing here that could rival Bolt for global recognition right now, the need to witness history on the track in the fastest 100 meters race was a must.

“This is the biggest event of them all right here,” James told the Associated Press shortly before Bolt’s Olympic-record sprint to glory. “The whole world is going to watch this tonight.”

Pretty much.

There is a mutual admiration among so many of the world’s elite athletes that permeates this competition. They finally get a chance to interact with each other at the venues and in the Olympic Village.

From 100 meter bronze medalist Justin Gatlin and other members of the U.S. track and field team showing up in the stands to support James, Bryant and the crew when they whipped Tunisia to members of the basketball team showing up at everything from beach volleyball to swimming to women’s basketball to tennis (Bryant caused a particular stir at Wimbledon over the weekend), this is one of those rare occasions when they can all enjoy each other competing at the highest level.

“It’s just a recognition of all of the hard work, of a job well done to get here and be able to represent your country,” Bryant said of what draws these athletes from different disciplines to each other. “In Beijing we got a chance to see Michael Phelps in action live and I told all of these guys that we had to do more of that this time. When you look back years from now and tell your kids that you were at the Olympics, you want to be able to tell them you saw history being made.”

Kevin Love took Bryant’s words to heart, and has been on a mission since setting foot on British soil to document every magical moment of the team’s trip — Twitter and the popular photo-sharing app Instagram being his weapons of choice.

Working around their own practice and competition schedule, Love said they haven’t missed much. Sometimes they go in pairs, but more often in larger groups, hustling to make sure they witness as much as they can.

“I was all in from the moment we met up in Las Vegas for training camp,” Love said. “But I really think it hit me at the opening ceremonies. Once you are inside that stadium and you see the athletes from every country walking in and those flags waving. It’s hard not to get caught up in the Olympics. Obviously, our first priority here is to take care of business and win a gold medal. But you don’t get here and not take advantage of the entire experience. You have to enjoy this time in whatever ways you can.”

The U.S gets back to work on the court in the final game of pool play at the Olympic Basketball Arena tonight against Argentina (5:15 p.m. ET, NBC).

U.S. and Olympics Records Fall As Anthony, U.S. Destroy Nigeria 156-73

LONDON — Carmelo Anthony couldn’t explain it. Few who witnessed it could, and even they would just be guessing about how records that have stood for years could all come crashing down in a matter of minutes at the Olympic Basketball Arena late Thursday night.

Maybe Anthony is right, perhaps it was “just one of those nights.”

Maybe it was just being in the zone and the perfect opponent at the perfect time for a team still hunting perfection in a game that has been known to humble those chasing foolish things.

And maybe, just maybe, it was Anthony, one of the greatest scorers on the planet right now, catching fire in a glorious 14 minute and 29-second stretch the likes of we might not see again on the Olympic stage.

By the time the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team had finished toying with Nigeria, they set Olympic records for most points in a half and most points in a game in their 156-73 win, the only thing anyone knew for sure was that history had been made and that they’d probably never see anything like it again.

Anthony set U.S. Olympic records for points (37), breaking Stephon Marbury‘s record of 31 (against Spain in 2004), 3-pointers made and attempted (10-for-12) and the U.S. team set Olympic records for points scored, points in a first half (78), field goals made (59), 3-pointers made and attempted (29-for-46), field goal percentage (71.1), victory margin (83) and their 41 assists tied a record.


Lavish Opening Ceremonies Officially Kicks Off Games For U.S. Men’s Team

LONDON — Russell Westbrook was fighting the urge to surrender himself completely to the moment Friday afternoon.

Sure, Olympic competition in some sports had already begun, but not for the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team. The opening ceremonies had yet to begin and Westbrook, experiencing the Summer Games for the first time, didn’t want to false start.

“Maybe later tonight, when we’re in there for the opening ceremonies,” he said when asked when it would hit him that he was really here. “Maybe then, but not before that. Right now, I’m just happy to be here and be a part of this team.”

After the extravagant, brilliant and simply breathtaking production from famed British filmmaker Danny Boyle at the Olympic Stadium, complete with Sir Paul McCartney ending the show with a rendition of “Hey Jude,” it’s safe to assume that Westbrook and the rest of his teammates who were diving into the Olympic phenomenon for the first time are completely immersed in the moment now.

They were warned.

“It’s not something you can really prepare anybody for,” said veteran point guard Chris Paul, making his second appearance in the Games for the U.S. “We went through it in Beijing and you don’t understand the magnitude of what’s going on until you get here [to the site of the Games] and realize what it means to the people hosting it and all of the people who are involved in putting it on. It’s unreal.”