Originally Posted by Bruinlove
China has far from the strongest basketball team on the world stage, but they have the largest fanbase of the sport in the world, and Yao ended the season in order to get healthy for the Olympic games. The basketball tournament is hyped up in China and the fans are expecting alot. I think China will get put into a weak basketball pool and even then have the refs throw the game in their favor until the semifinals in which case it will be too obvious to throw the game in their favor, China will get blown out and they will have to settle for the bronze, which they will win in another rigged game. Am I the only one who thinks that will happen?
Here is how it works, according to the Chinese officials, basketball is the fourth most popular sport in the olympics behind track, gymnastics and swimming, so it is important, but not the be all and end all you make it out to be. The Chinese Olympic officials (their sporting federation whatever...) actually backed out of a few ventures to promote hoops from 2006 to 2008 because they deemed it not worthwhile, I know this because my old company bid on a few projects.
There will be some shenanigans, tomfoolery or chicanery, but it will probably not be in basketball. My bet is gymnastics or diving where judges are vulnerable to bribery. Koreans are the masters of this:
-In 1988 a Korean boxer defeated Roy Jones Jr. in a split decision despite getting out punched by almost 100 punches.
-In the 2002 world cup reliable sources heard rumors that the prostitutes and large sums of US Dollars were sent to the referees hotel rooms the night before Korea match against Spain, where in which dodgy officiating gave Korea the win.
I don't think China will cheat because they are a force in the Olympics already, and all the demonstration sports will be weird ass games that are only played in China so they will own those too.
The Chinese are very keen to win it all however, so you can bet that if it is close there will be some judges at the pool or the gymnastics venue looking a little too favorably on China.
In hoops they realize their limitations.