Any time the United States laces up for an international game of hoops, America is expected to take care of business in a game which they both invented and have been the standard bearer for. But in Basketball at the Tokyo Olympics, the United States failed to live up to that standard with a demoralizing loss in their opening game.
On Sunday, Team USA's men's basketball squad was upset by France in a 83-76 loss, marking the first time the Olympic basketball team has lost since the 2004 semifinals and breaking its 25-game Olympic win streak. The loss comes after a coaching change for Team USA, as San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich assumed the role previously held by Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
For the United States to lose to France despite their array of basketball talent -- a group which includes Kevin Durant, Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker, Draymond Green, and more NBA stars -- was disappointing at best and crushing at worst. Following the loss, a variety of athletes and other observers, such as Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid and NFL running back Adrian Peterson, weighed in on the stunning loss.
Allez les Bleus!!!!— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) July 25, 2021
Greg Popovich still got his EGO I see?! Somebody needs to tell him don’t ever disrespect the Champ Money. Making. Middleton like that again! Carry the hell on...— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) July 25, 2021
Didn’t like the choices they picked for USA team but my eye is on Pop. Buddy been getting a pass for a few years now— Jordan Crawford (@jcraw55) July 25, 2021
Team USA basketball is a mess. 🙅♀️🙆♀️🙅♀️🙆♀️🙅♂️🙍🙅♂️🤦♀️ Kevin Durant throwing bricks up on wide open shots 😳 ...it must be father time already 🤷♀️— Mandisa Mlambo (@MandisaMlambo3) July 25, 2021
Team USA basketball needs to wake up & find its heart or they aren’t winning gold— Will_Bleeds_Blue (@slickwillyyy) July 25, 2021
USA Basketball is a dumpster fire right now.— Ben Greene (@Ben_Greene) July 25, 2021
Dear Team USA Basketball,— J J Walker (@Jroc_9931) July 25, 2021
The world has caught up!!
First Olympic loss for USA Basketball since 2004…team looks terrible.— Bob Greenburg (@BobGreenburg) July 25, 2021
If there is any solace for the U.S. Basketball team, it is that they still have chances ahead of them to salvage their Olympics. Team USA still has a chance to advance to the knockout round, and their next two games in group play will come against Iran and the Czech Republic.