t the U.S. in 2004 and I think maybe the same sto

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Nigel Hayes relied on his dry sense of humor to cope with a missed free throw that cost him a triple-double on Tuesday night.With 39 seconds to play in Wisconsins 77-60 win over Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Hayes went to the free throw line after recording nine points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a magnificent performance against the Orange.Wisconsin coach Greg Gard kept the senior in the game late after fans chanted, We want Nigel! and he realized Hayes needed only one point for the milestone.Hayes initial reaction when he realized he was at the free throw line just one point shy of a triple-double?S---, he said.Hayes missed the front end of a one-and-one before Gard pulled him for good.I said, All right, youve got one chance to go do it, Gard said. Hes gotta practice his free throws.The miss cost Hayes a chance to join former Wisconsin star Josh Gasser, the only Badgers player to record a triple-double.But Hayes said he was unaware that he was approaching the feat at the end of the game.I didnt know I was close to a triple-double, Hayes said. Something fishy happened. I grabbed that last rebound and everyone screamed really loud and I was like, Why is everyone screaming?Then, when I came out, the guys were all running up to me like, You need one point. So when I got back in, I was like s---, I dont really want this free throw. When I got fouled, in my mind, Im going, Please dont be one-and-one. I didnt want that pressure right there, and as you saw, I missed the free throw. It was just too much.Hayes said he is more worried about his siblings reaction to the missed mark than anything else.My sister is gonna text me, Hayes deadpanned. Shes gonna give it to me. I know she is. Shes not gonna let me live this one down. 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Leon Jacobs Jersey . -- Three close looks at the bucket, three misses. RIO DE JANEIRO -- There are few things in this world Ricky Rubio loves more than basketball, the electricity he feels when hes on the fastbreak, teammates running with him and a no-look lob pass just begging to be thrown.His mother, Tona, was certainly one of them.The point guard spent all of last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves watching from afar as Tonas body slowly succumbed to lung cancer, and there were times that he wondered if he should be playing at all.Sometimes at night during the season I was going through hell, Rubio told The Associated Press as Spain prepared for a showdown with the United States in the Rio Olympics semifinals Friday. Waking up in, who knows, Sacramento, in LA, in the middle of the night alone in a hotel and thinking, `Why am I here? Is it really worth it?When Timberwolves president and coach Flip Saunders died suddenly from lymphoma in October, it rocked the organization and Rubio in particular. Watching Flips son Ryan, an assistant coach on the team, grieve put a permanent pit in Rubios stomach, giving him the sinking feeling that he was getting a glimpse into his own future.Sometimes during video chats -- Tonas was the first voice Rubio wanted to hear after a win or a loss -- she would have to step away while becoming ill. He scrambled back home after the season was over and spent about six weeks with her before she died on May 25 at the age of 56.Anyone can say hes close to his mom, said Lucas Charte, Rubios close friend and manager. But when you see Tona and Ricky and how their relationship went, it was something else. There was a kind of connection between them. They were too similar. Ricky has a brother and a sister. Nobodys parent will tell you they have a favorite. But you could tell Ricky was Tonas favorite.Rubio has always looked forward to playing for the Spanish national team. He started practicing with them at 16 and sees his teammates as a surrogate family that helped raise him from a child prodigy into a trusted veteran.But when Tona passed, Rubio thought long and hard about pulling out of Rio to be with his father and two siblings back in Spain.At one point when everything happened, you think whats the best? Rubio said. Stay with your familly? Stay back home? Or sacrifice one more time everything for one goal, which is the gold medal, and dedicate it to her.ddddddddddddRubio tore the ligaments in his left knee at the end of a promising rookie season in 2012, causing him to miss the London Games that summer. He watched his beloved teammates fall to the United States, 107-100, in the gold-medal game. On his first day of rehab, Rubio vowed to physical therapist Andre Deloya that he would bring him to Rio four years later. Deloya never mentioned the promise again, but when it came time, Rubio had the tickets ready for him and his wife.One promise kept. One to go.Spain started the tournament 0-2 and Rubio was not playing well. Tona was not there, and he could not get her absence out of his head.I had a lot going on in my mind. It started with doubts. I started wondering if all the sacrifice was worth it, he said. I put a lot of pressure on myself, like Ive been doing my whole career. At one point I decided to forget about all the pressure and just play for fun and do my game and enjoy what I do.He has gradually settled in, and Spain is humming heading into the rematch with Rubio at the controls. In the first two games of the tournament, Spain was outscored by six points in the 28 minutes he was on the floor. In their last three victories, they have outscored their opponents by 67 points in Rubios 59 minutes.The mighty Americans -- winners of 50 straight games in international tournaments -- have shown some rare vulnerability in this tournament, emboldening challengers like Spain and Australia.It would mean everything for us, Rubio said of a win on Friday. It would mean the world. I remember watching Argentina beat the U.S. in 2004 and I think maybe the same story that Argentina wrote with the `Gold Generation, we can write, too.Rubio wants to win for Spanish fans after falling short against the U.S. in the gold-medal games in Beijing and London. He wants to win for teammates Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro and Jose Calderon, who may not have another Olympic run in them.Most of all, he wants to win for Tona. China NFL Jerseys Stitched Jerseys Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys China Jerseys NFL China Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic ' ' '

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