France defeated the United States 83-76 to give the men’s basketball team its first Olympic defeat since 2004
The United States loses its first men’s basketball game at the Olympics since 2004, when France stunned Gregg Popovich’s team 83-76 in Group A opener in Tokyo
The United States lost its first Olympic basketball game for men since 2004, when they went to France 83-76 in their opening game of the Tokyo Games on Sunday night.
The Americans, who have previously won gold at the Olympics three times, arrived in Japan with no star power after a number of withdrawals, injuries and Covid-19 problems, and it showed when they got off to a sloppy start to the competition.
Boston Celtics’ Evan Fournier scored 28 points for France, who dominated the third quarter of the Group A game and then survived a rally in the fourth quarter to take a famous win.
The American players can’t hide their disappointment after losing to France on Sunday zondag
Evan Fournier and Nicolas Batum (pictured) scored crucial three-pointers against the Americans
The Americans started the fourth quarter with a 13-1 run, leading 69-63 when Jrue Holiday made a lay-up, but the French stormed back thanks to big three-pointers from Nicolas Batum and Fournier respectively.
Fournier put the French back in front, 76-74, with 57 seconds to go and they had the better of a messy finish as the Americans lost several chances in the last minute to give France the win.
It was the first Olympic defeat for the United States men’s team since the semi-finals of the Athens Games, when they were defeated 89-81 by eventual champions Argentina.
Gregg Popovich’s team must repair some of the damage when they play their second game against Iran on Wednesday.
French players celebrate their 83-76 win over the acclaimed US team
Despite NBA names, the American basketball stars are a shadow of the original ‘Dream Team’ and they are just as likely to end up off the podium as they are to waltz away with gold, writes MIKE COLMAN
When I heard an Australian TV reporter this week refer to the American men’s basketball outfit currently preparing for their first game of the Tokyo Olympics as “the Dream Team,” I nearly fell off my chair.
I covered the original Dream Team at the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics, and to put this current squad in their league is frankly an insult.
The 1992 Dream Team consisted of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley. It was without a doubt the best batch ever put together.
Four years later, Jordan, Magic and Bird were gone, but with the addition of players like Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Penny Hardaway, Hakeem Olajuwon and Gary Payton, the side still earned the Dream Team label.
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