APPRECIATING DENG

AP News
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Posted: Jul 31, 2012 8:03 AM
APPRECIATING DENG

This was a moment to appreciate the effort, not assign blame for the failure.

The British men's basketball team fell just short of an upset over Brazil, losing 67-62. If Luol Deng had played better, the hosts might have pulled it off.

The NBA All-Star shot only 3 of 13 from the field and missed two free throws in the closing minutes.

If he were playing with his Chicago Bulls, Deng would have been ripped apart in print and on radio talk shows.

But fans in Britain are grateful for his commitment. Deng grew up in London after his family fled conflict-torn Sudan and he's played for the national team since 2007. He helped the British perform well enough in last year's European championships to convince FIBA that they deserved the traditional automatic Olympic host slot.

So there he was, more than a half hour after the game, still posing for photos with fans.

— Brian Mahoney http://twitter.com/briancmahoney

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