Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Casey's Journal: Hangin' with Phelps

(Mavs trainer Casey Smith is also performing those duties for Team USA. He's keeping a journal on life at the Olympics in Beijing.)

Well, it is Wednesday morning here in China, and the big push to the finish starts tonight. We play Australia tonight, and for these next 3 games it is all or none. I can’t believe that after 3 years, all the travel, all the games and practices that this is finally here, and we seem to be in a good position to accomplish our goal.

Our game against Germany the other night was a total walk over. Talk about overwhelmed. It’s a hell of a way for Dirk to go out after playing on his national team for 13 years, but they never had a chance in the game. Those games are big for him, because it is his true set of peers. He has a lot of respect from the guys on our team.

They know that they are the best in the USA, but they also know that he would be on this team were he a US citizen. He is staying for a few more days here in Beijing, and it sounds like he is enjoying himself. He deserves it. I got a picture of him and Boeheim after the game.

We also had a surprise guest come to the locker room after the game, Michael Phelps. It was funny to see all of our guys get a little giddy about the fact that Michael Phelps was there. I got a pic with him. Not a bad week for him, right?

Well, I have got so many things to write about, and I have been really busy but we are leaving for shootaround so I wanted to get this out briefly. I got out to track and field last night and had great seats, 12th row and saw about 3 hours of events. Hot as hell, but a lot of fun.

I got to see the medal presentation for the men's 400m which the US swept, so it was really cool to have the national anthem play and see all 3 US athletes on the stand. It may sound corny, but it really is moving.

I have been using the subway most of the time, but the mass of humanity is unbelievable. I have been to some more temples and parks, done my share of haggling in the market, and met a lot of people, including quite a few folks from Ohio.

Anyway, lots to catch up on, but I gotta run.

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