Team USA Lost Again and Will Finish 7th Place (or Worse) at the FIBA World Cup

For the first time since 2002, USA basketball lost two straight games, falling today to Serbia in the FIBA World Cup.

That loss follows the quarterfinal disappointment against France, when our guys lost by ten-points to a squad that included Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Frank Ntilikina, Nicolas Batum, and one-time Toronto Raptor Nando de Colo. Good players, for sure, but not exactly murderer’s row right there.

I see a lot of stuff out there ripping this USA squad to shreds, and I agree – they underachieved. They were disappointing. I guess the silver lining for Sixers fans is that the four Boston Celtics on the team didn’t exactly light the world on fire.

But I’d also like to defend these guys and give them credit for stepping up and actually playing this tournament. The roster shuffle was farcical at best, with top NBA talent leaving the team on what seemed like a daily basis. We didn’t send our A team or our B team to China. We sent a C team that was cobbled together at the last minute after everybody else said “thanks, but no thanks.”

For that reason, I’m not gonna shit all over this squad. They represented their country when nobody else really wanted to. They gave up the second half of their offseason, their summer, to fly to China and wear the Team USA jersey. Regardless of the finish, at least they had the presence of mind to jump in and say, “I’ll go play for the U.S.”

Myles Turner said something along those lines when he took to Twitter after today’s loss:

I agree. These guys stepped up, and I can respect that. Turner is also correct when he talks about the international game and the amount of talent there. Think about it; the Sixers’ best two players right now are not Americans. One is from Cameroon and the other grew up in Australia. The NBA’s best player is Greek. Other countries play good basketball, too, and we should all recognize that.

Also recognize that the rest of the world is in line for monolithic ass kicking at next year’s Olympics. Team USA is gonna be putting boots to asses with such force and attitude that it’s gonna make the 1992 Olympics look like child’s play.

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4 Responses

  1. don’t really agree with your “spin” on this one….so what you are basically saying is that the USA team should be content with just showing up and getting a participation trophy, right? that is total BS…if you go into a tournament wearing that USA jersey, you are going there to win the damn thing. do you think they did it for free? USA basketball has been a powerhouse for years….if the “pros” don;t want to play and show some pride, then let’s just go back to the days when college players played for team USA.

    1. depends on whether you expected the C team to actually win the tournament; did you think they had enough talent and cohesion to win the whole thing?

  2. The NBA’s “best player” is not Greek. He is African, Nigerian (I believe) to be exact. I know in this hyper-globalist world, most like to pretend race and nationality are meaningless, but they do still exist (for now at least).

    As far as team USA goes, it is an absolute embarrassment. Even the 2nd, 3rd or 4th tier players from the US should be dominating on the international stage. Sure, some countries have one, or MAYBE two players who are elite talents, but top to bottom no one should be able to compete with our squad.

  3. Those tweets are pretty funny. “We’re on the wrong side of history.” Yeah the team is like 800-2 because of you guys. Then acting like they’re some scrappy underdog that’s going to have the chance to come back and do better next time.

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