Team USA men’s basketball is not used to losing. Since the program began using professional players starting with the 1992 Dream Team, USA Basketball has won six gold medals in the last seven Olympics. The one failure during that run — the infamous 2004 Athens Games — stands out as much as any of the wins. The bronze medal in 2004 led to a more serious approach from Team USA and started another run of dominance: after a rare loss in the 2006 World Championships to Greece, USA Basketball ran off 58 straight wins in games that count.
That streak was snapped by France in the 2019 World Cup. The USA also lost its next game to Serbia to finish seventh in that tournament. USA Basketball is now playing its first games since that disastrous World Cup performance in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, and the early results have been shockingly ugly.
USA Basketball has lost its first two exhibition games in Las Vegas before taking off for Tokyo. Nigeria stunned Team USA in its first game, and Australia beat them on Wednesday night, 91-83, to show that first L wasn’t just an off-night.
Since Gregg Popovich replaced Mike Krzyzewski as head coach, USA men’s basketball’s record sits at 9-5 if you include exhibition games. Team USA will still head into the Olympics as the favorite to win gold, but it’s clear the program has some real problems right now.
The 2019 World Cup team had an easy built in excuse: it didn’t have its best players. That isn’t an excuse any more: Kevin Durant signed on for another go with the national team, and Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Bam Adebayo, and Draymond Green joined him. When the NBA Finals are over, Devin Booker, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday will add reinforcements. No, Team USA doesn’t have LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Anthony Davis, or Kyrie Irving, but it still has the most talented roster in the Olympic field by far.
Maybe that won’t matter. Team USA just lost games to teams whose best players were Gabe Vincent and Joe Ingles.
While there’s more starpower on this roster than the last World Cup team, this edition of USA Basketball still has some major issues in terms of the roster construction.
Team USA men’s basketball is having a problem with their roster construction
USA basketball men isn’t used to losing. USA Basketball has won six gold medals at the Olympics since 1992, when it began using professional players. This includes the 1992 Dream Team. As notable as all the wins is the 2004 Athens Games, which was the only failure. Team USA took a more serious approach to 2004’s bronze medal and began a new run of dominance. After a rare loss to Greece in 2006 World Championships, USA Basketball won 58 consecutive games that count.
France ended that streak in the 2019 World Cup. To finish seventh, the USA lost its next match to Serbia. USA Basketball is currently playing its first games after the disastrous World Cup performance leading up to the Tokyo Olympics. The early results have been horrendously ugly.
USA Basketball lost its two first exhibition games in Las Vegas, before departing for Tokyo. Team USA was stunned by Nigeria in their first game. Australia defeated them Wednesday night, 91-83 to prove that the first L wasn’t an accident.
The USA men’s basketball record is now 9-5 since Gregg Popovich took over Mike Krzyzewski’s role as head coach. This includes exhibition games. Although Team USA is still the favourite to win gold at the Olympics, it’s evident that the program is facing serious problems.
It didn’t have the best players, which was an easy excuse for the 2019 World Cup team. This is no excuse: Kevin Durant joined the 2019 World Cup team to continue his involvement. Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal and Bam Adebayo also signed on. After the NBA Finals are finished, Devin Booker and Khris Middleton will join Jrue Holiday as reinforcements. Although Team USA does not have LeBron James or Stephen Curry, James Harden and Anthony Davis, it still has the most skilled roster at the Olympic Games.
Perhaps it won’t matter. Team USA lost two games to teams whose best player were Joe Ingles and Gabe Vincent.
Although this roster has more star power than the previous World Cup team’s, USA Basketball still faces major problems with the roster construction.