Team USA's Kobe Bryant, left, controls the ball in front of Nigeria's Derrick Obasohan
(Photo: LA Times)

The US  basketball team smashed Nigeria 156 to 73 or was it 6,784 to 2?

Who cares?

That bunch of overpaid, overblown, egomaniacs on the US team have as much to do with the Olympics as I do.

Where is the Olympic spirit in hammering a Third World country into total submission and taunting them by running up a massive score along the way?

Whose bright idea was it to blaze this “victory” across many of the major newspapers on line in the US including the New York Post?

At least the IOC had the decency to remove softball from the Olympics given that it was so much a one-country sport.

Basketball is in the same position. It is not an Olympic sport when you have the likes of Lebron James playing against teams he could probably beat single handedly.

Where’s the Olympic sport in that?

You might as well have American football included with Peyton Manning lining up against some hapless foreigner who can hardly throw a ball.

It is that ridiculous.

And as I’m at it, women’s sand volleyball or whatever they call it is another Olympic ‘sport’ I find ridiculous.

Lots of pictures of tight bikinis and svelte bodies does not make an Olympic sport -- but NBC cannot stop filming it.

We know why -- so every dirty old man in Peoria Illinois can stay up watching it – excuse the pun.

Seriously, much of what the Olympics has become is a charade, a necessary clown show in order to keep viewers watching.

NBC has had some superb coverage but much of their nightly show is for the circus atmosphere and has nothing to do with real ability.

Back in the days of the Roman Empire they had sideshows all over the arena before the main acts, the gladiators, began to compete.

It is not dissimilar today.

Thank goodness the track and field, the equivalent of the gladiators, where real talent comes to the fore, is finally starting.

This Olympics has had many heroic moments so far with many more to come.

But NBC and America needs to realize there is a massive difference between spectacle and achievement, between good-looking women and real female athletes, between multi-millionaire egomaniacs winning phony victories and ordinary competitors.

The difference seems to have escaped many.