First off, congratulations to both the USA and Spanish teams on a game well played. Spain probably played the better game but the United States had the talent to make up for a lack of cohesion on offense and a predilection to gamble on defense.
Personally, I've very proud of the way Nate McMillan represented the United States and the Portland Trail Blazers. I couldn't be happier for Coach.
But Rudy Fernandez was the story. Just ridiculous. His performance throughout the Olympics, capped off by last night's stellar game against Team USA, is going to make the wait for his arrival all the more difficult. The dead-eye shooting from long range. The visionary alley-oops and assists. Dunking on Dwight Howard's dome. The constant motion on offense. The straight fearlessness against Kobe Bryant. His play was nearly flawless, save fouling out while giving up a four-point play to the Mamba.
Check the line. 22 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal with just one turnover in under 18 minutes against the greatest collection of basketball talent in the world. That's hooping. But shooting 54% from the field and 56% from three? Wow. Just ... wow.
In the end, it was a great night for Trail Blazers fans. As Americans, we get to celebrate our nation's return to basketball supremacy. As admirers of Nate McMillan, we get to see a great coach rewarded for years of hard work. And as Trail Blazers fans, we get a glimpse what Rudy Fernandez can bring to the court in Portland. From my perspective, that's the best we could have hoped for.