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 NBA.com, Lang Whitaker of NBA.com’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand.