Team and Player Sportsmanship: US vs. USSR 1972

Posted by By at 22 April, at 04 : 22 AM Print

I remember when Lebron James walked off the court a few years ago after losing to the Magic and he didn’t stay to shake their hands. Or in 1991 when the Bulls finally beat the Pistons in 7 games and Chuck Daly got his players off the floor before time ran out, not shaking hands with the Bulls. Many people view this as bad sportsmanship, and young people in youth leagues or High School basketball should take these lessons and do their homework to learn about each situation. Because I will tell you that sometimes, you must speak your mind and keep your eyes open to what happens in game situations and not be afraid to “speak out”.

The Men’s 1972 Gold Medal game is a great example. In the final seconds of the game, it appeared that the US won  and denied the Soviets a basket with a well defended full court pass. Then, from the stands the FIBA chairman goes to the scorer’s table and tells the officials their should be three seconds remaining. The FIBA chairman had no authority to rule that in the game, but sadly the referees were influenced by him and allowed the three seconds and a second chance for the Soviet team which they converted into  the basket for a 51-50 victory. Now, what we all have seen in documentaries or on TV during the games is that the Men’s team didn’t not accept their silver medals and didn’t show up at the medal ceremony. To this day, their are players who have placed in their will that family members shouldn’t accept those silver medals which are sitting in Geneva, Switzerland in a bank vault. The USOC filed petitions after the game to contest the decision, but they were all rejected.

So does their actions signify that it is always good to protest losses? No. Not at all. To this day, the Soviet Men’s team members and many others say that the players should accept their medals. What is important to know is that decisions will be made in your favor as a player or against your team–It’s a fact of life. When those moments do come around where the rules may-be bent, if your eyes are open than you must standup and speakout. What the Men’s 1972 team did is Sportsmanship: BARNONE. Lebron & The Pistons actions–NOT SPORTSMANSHIP. Other than that, you shake hands at the beginning and end of the game and keep playing.

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  1. Magic#1Fan, 9 years ago Reply

    Last nights game was a good example of this. That Za Za and JRich fight is ridiculous. These are professionals, or at least are supposed to be. A fight like that is uncalled for.

    • Eric Labrador, 9 years ago Reply

      Its a sign of the times. Guys today ARE wussies when they talk of being “disrespected”–like ZaZa did. So quick to fight in the wrong situations.

  2. Elan Z, 9 years ago Reply

    I dont remember the soviet game as i wasnt born yet, but that Lebron not shaking the Magics hands shows his true character. these guys are all wuss’s

    • Eric Labrador, 9 years ago Reply

      I was born in ’76 but I’m an Olympics fan so I watched documentaries on the subject many times.

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