#1 experienced so many wonderful highlights over the co von corse178 10.10.2019 09:22

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Thats him, the man who changed international basketball. Hes the one who single-handedly beat the United States on its own soil nearly 30 years ago, stoking the ambers that led to the Dream Team.The greatest scorer in the history of the game, by a bunch, hes perhaps the best player to never to slip on an NBA jersey.Except for his size, Oscar Schmidt could walk down a city street in the U.S. unnoticed.Not in Brazil.As Schmidt ambles through the corridors of Carioca Arena, his weakened knees preventing him from moving with the grace he once showed on the floor, his countrymen treat him with respect and reverence. Police officers ask if they can have their picture taken with him, young volunteers squeeze in close for selfies and everyone he encounters shows him love. They all want to touch the man dubbed Mao Santo in Portuguese, The Holy Hand.Schmidt accepts it all and happily obliges every request with a smile, and often with a hearty laugh.These Olympics are personal to the Brazilian basketball icon. These games are on his court.I have had a great life, he said before doing TV commentary for Brazils double-overtime loss to Argentina on Saturday.He was a mystery, something of an urban legend until 1987, when during an unforgettable game in Indiana, the heartland of American hoops, Schmidt scored 46 points in the final of the Pan American Games to stun the Americans. It ended a 34-game winning streak for the U.S., its first loss in international competition at home.Schmidt, a cocky shooters shooter with remarkable range and little interest in playing defense, scored 35 points in the second half as Brazil overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to stun the U.S. team, which included college stars David Robinson, Danny Manning and coached by Denny Crum.When the game ended, Schmidt stood under one basket and wept with joy as his teammates celebrated. They had done the unimaginable.That game was the best part of my life because we proved to the whole world that it was possible to beat them, the 58-year-old Schmidt said. And we were afraid to lose by 50.At that time, there had been discussion inside the U.S. basketball program about possibly using professionals in upcoming Olympics. And when the Americans were beaten by the Soviet Union the following year at the Seoul Games and finished with a bronze, the U.S. decided it was time to bring in the big boys.Four years later, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird and their All-Star teammates pummeled the competition in Barcelona while inspiring the rest of the world to shoot higher.Schmidt, who scored 24 against that squad, takes personal satisfaction for his role in basketballs global growth.Yeah, of course I do, he said, his voice rising with pride. When we beat them, everybody saw it and said, if they can win, we can win. So they put the Dream Team together.The Americans exacted revenge on Schmidt in Spain, pounding Brazil 127-83 and winning by an average of 43.8 points per game on their way to a gold medal.That was the best team Ive ever seen play, said Schmidt, one of the Olympic flag bearers in the opening ceremony. They were something. The only players I think could make that team are Kobe, Shaquille and LeBron.And maybe Schmidt, who rejected overtures by NBA teams to play in Europe and on five Olympic teams for Brazil from 1980-1996. He was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in 1984, but played in Italy, where he routinely scored 50 in a game.When he got into a zone, with his size at 6-8 and his mentality, once he got going, he was one of the toughest guys you would ever want to go up against, said former Australian Olympian Andrew Gaze, who relishes the chance to catch up with his good friend. I think if he came through in a later generation, he would have been very successful in the NBA. But back when he was at his best, there were very few international players. The NBA wasnt really considering international players the way they are now.Schmidt helped open the door for non-U.S. players, and there were 100 on NBA rosters to start last season. And the American stars can thank the Hall of Famer, too, for getting them inside the five Olympic rings.Unofficially credited with scoring over 49,000 career points -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 38,387 -- Schmidt is the Olympic leader with 1,093, nearly 800 more than Carmelo Anthony, who became Team USAs career leader during these games.Schmidt chuckled when reminded of the disparity before turning serious.But hes going to win three times gold medals. I would change everything, every point -- not that Pan American Games -- but the rest for a medal in the Olympics, said Schmidt, who finished fifth three times. We had two good chances, not to get a medal, but a chance to win the Olympics. We came very close, but life is like that. You cant have everything. Ersan Ilyasova Jersey . The team said Saturday that Lopez was hurt during its 121-120 overtime loss at Philadelphia on Friday. The Nets said they would issue another update next week after consultation with their doctors. 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LONDON -- After an illustrious playing career full of remarkable cup comebacks alongside jarring Premier League lows, Steven Gerrard is done.The 36-year-old Gerrard, who won every major club honor with Liverpool apart from the English title, said Thursday he was retiring from soccer after an 18-year professional career.You are aware that time is coming towards the end, the body starts talking to you, the former England captain told British broadcaster BT. The pains and the aches get more regular. The way you feel out there on the pitch changes.Over the last couple of years Ive felt myself slowing down a little bit and I basically cant deliver what I used to be able to deliver and that becomes a little frustrating as time goes on.Gerrard was one of the best midfielders of his era and won admiration for staying loyal to his boyhood club and resisting the riches offered by Premier League rivals.He only left Liverpool in 2015 after no longer being able to reach the formidable levels of his peak years and losing his place in the team. The final two seasons of his career were seen out with the Los Angeles Galaxy.There were inevitably frustrations during such a long career, so often on international duty while captaining England at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and the 2012 European Championship. England didnt progress beyond the first knockout round in those three tournaments as the teams performances never matched the hype and expectation that Gerrard sought to temper as a cool leader.With Liverpool, Gerrard came agonizingly close in 2014 to finally landing the one club prize that eluded him: The Premier League title. Adding to the anguish, Gerrards own slip against Chelsea contributed to a 2-0 loss that ended up costing Liverpool the title as Manchester City emerged victorious.It drove me mad for a few nights, a few weeks, Gerrard said at the time. It was a big moment and went against me.But there were so many moments that went Gerrards way.ddddddddddddThe biggest of them all came in Istanbul in the 2005 Champions League final. Trailing 3-0 at halftime against AC Milan, Liverpool was facing humiliation until Gerrard scored to begin a comeback that culminated in the clubs fifth European title -- won on penalty kicks.A year later in the FA Cup final, Liverpool was trailing 3-2 heading into stoppage time until Gerrard pounced with a long-range equalizer. Just like in the European final, the FA Cup was collected by winning a penalty shootout.I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career, Gerrard said in a statement. I am proud to have played over 700 games for Liverpool, many of which as captain, and to have played my part in helping the club to bring major honors back to Anfield, none more so than that famous night in Istanbul.Liverpools scouts spotted Gerrards talent as an 8-year-old and he went on to score 186 goals in 710 first-team appearances.Gerrard, who also made 114 appearances for England, now has a decision to make about his next job.I am excited about the future and feel I still have a lot to offer the game, in whatever capacity that may be, Gerrard said. I am currently taking my time to consider a number of options and will make an announcement with regards to the next stage of my career very soon.Gerrard was in talks about becoming manager of third-tier club MK Dons last week but decided that vacancy came a bit too soon.I definitely have dreams and aspirations of having a go at management or assisting the manager and being back involved in the dressing room, Gerrard said. But Ive got many, many years to do that.---Rob Harris is at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports ' ' '

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