It felt like 2004. Green definitely made himself known Wednesday in the USA's second period when they outscored Argentina by 20 points.
Lopsided as it became, somehow it never diminished the enthusiasm of the relentless Argentinian fans.
The singing and chanting grew louder, the jumping and dancing more feverish and the ire of the Brazilian fans more evident.
The commotion didn't last, however. The crowd relaxed. And Argentina, with a generation that came out of nowhere to provide one of the great tales in the history of global basketball, was left to turn nostalgic while the United States rolled to a 105-78 victory. "Sometimes we're not going to win, like today, sometimes we won but we fought together for many years".
A tough Spanish team stands in their way next on Friday night in the semifinal.
"I started playing at 19-20 years old and now I'm nearly 40". Its roster is full of offensive weapons and National Basketball Association players Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Mirotic, Jose Calderon, Alex Abrines, Fernandez, Juan Carlos Navarro, and Victor Claver to name a few from National Basketball Association. But this also should be a moment for the United States to reflect, too. At least it there wasn't anything wrong against Argentina. The rest of Team USA shot a combined 4-of-24 from deep. "Just passion and basketball". The commitment is better.
But the victor on this night was Olympic basketball.
But for a while, the situation was a mess.
Even worse, were they going to lose to Argentina before they even got to the medal round? Argentina was a foil and an unlikely inspiration.
"We wanted to come out and our whole thing was dominating", forward Carmelo Anthony said.
"They congratulated me, and I'm very proud of their words", Ginobili said. It's been an honor playing against Scola and Ginobili all these years.
But even now, as they find their footing, will it be enough to upset the Americans?
"We've got to build on it", Durant said, "but we're not satisfied at all". Immediately after subbing in, DeMar's teammates cleared space for him to go to work in the midrange. "You can't do nothing but respect them for that". Early on the Americans' struggles looked all too familiar.
Unlike in their previous close victories over Australia, Serbia and France in the final three games of group play, the United States didn't mess around. Some old issues were coming to the surface.
Klay Thompson finally found his touch as ball movement improved, scoring 30 against Serbia in a three-point win. The defensive cohesiveness was lacking. Defensively, the US had the length to bother Ramu Tokashiki inside, forcing her into a 4-for-14 shooting night. "The truth is, this generation was over years ago".
The Spaniards may have a better chance to give the Americans a good game. It's a symbolic turn of events.
The epitome of Spain's fluid passing game came when Pau Gasol caught an entry pass near the elbow, spotted a back-door cutter with his peripheral vision, and threw a back-to-the-basket pass for a layup. They will do everything they can to make the United States revert to one-on-one play. "The tournament showed that they can be beaten - but it's not going to be easy". George twice hit layups to extend the US' lead to 28. Maybe all it took was 19-9 deficit to snap them into it.
"There was a time that we competed with these guys". And we live with the result. The US' shooters weren't able to convert on open looks from beyond the arc, which contributed to the growing deficit.
Father Time has arrived.
At the end of a typical US blowout, the crowd turned its attention to Ginobili.
"A Hall of Fame player". He was handed the game ball. Primary point man to rely on for the team is Chicago Bulls' Mirotic for the Friday clash.
He cried during an NBC interview afterward. So a lot of things happened.
"Some awesome times, some unbelievable, some really tough ones". It finished group play with three consecutive victories and is playing its best basketball of the tournament.
"Representing a lot of people that I love". Leaving on the side, my family. "I just didn't care about the outcome of the game", Durant says.
Argentina once embarrassed USA Basketball. The Olympics goes on.
The rivalry will be missed, but here's hoping that the impact has a much longer shelf life.