Wednesday, July 25, 2012

USA Basketball Exhibitions and Training

Twenty years ago, the USA men's basketball team, aka "The Dream Team" took Barcelona by storm and easily coasted to an Olympic gold medal.  As far as I know, this is the first time that USA basketball has returned to Barcelona and the reason for doing so this time was to play a few final tune up games against Argentina and Spain who are arguably their toughest opponents in the upcoming Olympics in London.

Now game photography wise, it was pretty straight forward.  In my opinion, basketball is one of the easiest sports to shoot.  You don't have a lot of backgrounds to worry about (as it's largely out of your control), so you basically see action, shoot action.  So here's some stuff from that first game against Argentina.  I thought it was pretty cool that the team busted out the retro jerseys from their 1992 Olympic appearance.

Now I'll admit, while shooting the action is pretty straight forward, I ran into two challenges.  The first, as I mentioned a few posts back, is that I'm operating with new gear.  Nikon gave me their latest and greatest to try for the next few months.  I've historically been a Canon user, and the problem with Nikon, is that all their dials and zoom rings are reversed from what I'm used to.  So I had a bad habit of zooming out when I meant to zoom in, and vice versa.  I've also blew out (overexposed) a number of photos I had meant to darken, and underexposed photos that I meant to overexpose.  Ugh.

But the other problem I ran into were the other photographers poaching photo positions.  When I got up to transmit at halftime, I lost my spot near the floor.  That really annoyed me because I had USA driving away from me in the first half so I was looking forward to having LeBron, Kobe and the crew come to me in the second half.  Well I only have myself to blame for that one.  I should have known from previous Olympic level and international events.... NEVER LEAVE YOUR SPOT OR IT WILL BE GONE!

So that said, for the game against Spain, I just showed up super early and staked out a spot and set up all my gear and computer.  It was cramped and uncomfortable, but I had to pretty much just squat there the whole time to guarantee nobody could take it.

After that, it was just another game....

I wish there were more dunks throughout the two games, but it's clear that USA can't win playing "circus basketball" like they did twenty years ago.  The competition has certainly closed the gap and are no longer in awe of the American celebrity athletes.

So that ends my time here in Barcelona...  Next stop, London and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games!


Anonymous Chris Humphreys said...

The retro 92 uniforms were the bomb. They just need to keep those forever. :)

9:19 AM  

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