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Per Capita

In New Zealand classrooms, every morning we stand up, face the flag, put our hands on our hearts and say together: “New Zealand is the best country in the world, per capita.” Those two little words, per capita, are a crucial part of our national self-esteem and self-image, and saying “per capita” is as true-blue New Zealand as asking overseas visitors how much they like our country.

So I want to pay homage to the Tall Blacks, knocked out of the eight-finals stage of the FIBA World Championships for the second time in a row, in a torrid defeat to an equally determined and much bigger Russian side. I’ll do this in the traditional way, by citing population statistics and saying “didn’t we do well, per capita”.

Russia: 141 million.
New Zealand: 4 million
Didn’t we do well, per capita!

And congrats to unbeaten Lithuania (3 million), knocking out China (1.3 billion). Er.

In all seriousness, it’s been a fun World Champs to watch and thumbs up to the Tall Blacks for doing a great job. Next time I run into one of youse fullas in the street I’ll raise my eyebrows at you in hearty appreciation.

(Population count source: wikipedia)

{ 4 } Comments

  1. ben | September 8, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Little clip (down the page) of Brent Barry on NBA TV pushing Kirk for the NBA.
    http://www.nba.com/nbatv/index.html#

    They were too big, especially once Vukona got his fourth foul and we had an extended Casey Frank appearance at center. And unfortunate game for Phill Jones to suddenly look his age, when he needed to fill in for Kirk when he was benched. Another good tourney nevertheless.

  2. Andrew (Bartok) | September 8, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    And remember, NZ was the only team “undefeated” at the World Cup!

    Oh, and as A Foreigner your country is still lovely.

  3. Jon | September 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Pero for the memories!

    Yeah, I too think Kirk Penney can’t have done his NBA credentials any harm. I saw a tweet from one of the ESPN Analysts (on EPSN.com) which said “NZ were in trouble when Kirk Penney got into foul trouble”. If they know that he means so much to us, they know he’s relatively good. I think he could be a good bench player on a reasonable team.

  4. The Alligator | September 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Per Capita, you have a higher rate of NBA players than Russia. But per capita, you have less cool NBA nicknames than Russia- how can anyone compete with AK-47?!?!

    And, did you really want to see what would’ve happened when ex-Sonic Kevin Durant dunked over Dan Carter?