I don't understand your comment on the Americans showing respect for fans and the competition itself when they asked FIBA for a separate bronze medal ceremony so they could leave Japan that same evening. You have played a world championships – in Madrid, indeed – and you know that the medal ceremony has always involved the three teams at the same time. Of course, American players didn't want to stand below Spain and Greece. That's not a great sign of respect or willingness to accept defeat.
Guillermo, your point is well taken, but I disagree with your view that the U.S. players "didn't want to stand below Greece and Spain." The fact is, these players had been traveling for a month and were tired and emotionally spent. They wanted to get home and they had a chance to get on an earlier flight. I don't see this as a sign of disrespect towards the tournament or the teams from Greece and Spain. What I saw on television from the American team was grace in defeat.
I didn't see the ceremony, but what do you guys think? A sign of disrespect? If this is true, then I side with the fan from Spain.
If Team USA had won Gold, they would have stayed and celebrated with Spain and Greece. I don't buy the "let's celebrate early so we can take an earlier flight home" excuse. It's a hundred-year-old tradition to celebrate Gold, Silver, and Bronze together at these international competitions.
Team USA not being there makes them look too embarassed to show their LeBronze faces underneath other winning countries again. Notice how Steve Kerr said he saw grace in defeat "on television." So, Steve, what happened behind closed doors? Thoughts?