NBA source Jacob Boltle was glad that the path to Olympic gold wasn’t a walk in the garden of American basketball players.
The frontrunner lost a group match to France in Tokyo, but fought back in the final and claimed his fourth consecutive Olympic victory.
“In the end, they deserved to win,” Boltel told APA news agency on Monday. “But it is always good to see that international basketball is becoming more and more popular.”
France and Australia have shown their strength and really challenged the United States, said the 25-year-old from the San Antonio Spurs. In the case of the Native Americans overseen by his club’s coach Greg Popovich, he would have been surprised that it took them again to really get in.
Kevin Durant’s class
But in the end, the class of players like Kevin Durant won. “He may be the best basketball player in the world, but definitely somewhere in the top three,” said Pöltl. “You can see it on the field – whether in the NBA or in the Olympics.”
With former teammate Patty Mills, who led Australia to Olympic bronze, Boltle said he was already in touch. Mills scored 42 points in the third-place match against Slovenia alone.
“I think it’s great that he was able to show what he can do after a season when he wasn’t feeling very comfortable.” The 32-year-old is leaving San Antonio after nine years to chase the NBA title with Durant at the Brooklyn Nets — a shame for Boltle. “He’s one of my favorite teammates over the years.”
New competitor from Australia
In return he gets a new colleague from Australia – even in his position. Jock Landal had spearheaded Melbourne United in the A-League strong as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the final series for the title before also making an Olympic appearance.
Pöltl doesn’t yet know much about the centre, which is said to have signed for two years in San Antonio and is only ten days younger than him.
“But I saw that he played well with the national team and he is very strong there.” Pöltl himself is preparing for his sixth NBA season, Tottenham’s fourth, in Vienna through Thursday.
Textquelle: APA ©
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