Historic defeat for the American “Dream Team”
When professional basketball players in the United States compete together, the opportunity to opponent is rarely presented. But at the beginning of preparations for the Olympic Games, the “dream team” loses against its opponent, whom it defeated in the last duel by a difference of 83 points.
WWhen US basketball stars form a team, it’s usually easy to talk about a “dream team.” With stunning moves, in which opponents are usually nothing more than amazed additions, the Americans have been jubilant at the major tournaments since 1992.
However, the road to the Olympic Games in Tokyo did not begin as in a dream. Because the US team started preparations quite suddenly with a defeat and lost with stars around Kevin Durant against Germany’s group rival Nigeria 87:90.
As the pros played for selection in 1992, this was only the third defeat in a Test match for the Americans – an astonishing 54 wins, according to US media. It is also the first time that American basketball players have lost to an African team.
Popovic hopes to make an educational impact
“In a way, I’m glad it happened that way,” Team USA coach Gregg Popovich said at the post-match press conference. “It doesn’t mean anything if we learn from him,” the 72-year-old added. In Tokyo, only the gold medal for Popovic’s team matters.
In other words: The United States has won the last two games with Nigeria by 125 points. At the London Olympics nine years ago, the Americans beat Nigeria by 83 points (156-73).
But on Saturday evening in Las Vegas, the NBA All-Star Team deservedly lost to a Nigerian selection, as five MLS professionals played for the world, but were not as well known and successful as the All-Star group. Durant, Damian Lillard, or Bradley Beal. Coach Popovich had to lay off Devin Booker, Giro Holiday and Chris Middleton, who are currently still playing for the NBA title.
Durant is the top scorer in the United States
Team USA, who trained for four days in the desert city that week, relied on individual moves remarkably often against Nigeria. Durant, under contract with the Brooklyn Nets, had just 17 points and only scored two of his first 11 attempts; Jason Tatum scored 15 rebounds and 7 rebounds. For Nigeria, which had 12 NBA players on its 49er coaching squad to prepare in California, Gabe Vincent (Miami Heat) led with 21 points.
Nigeria coach Mike Brown, who is also the assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors, didn’t want to exaggerate the win. “At the end of the day it was a test match, that doesn’t mean anything on the table. But it was a good win for us, I don’t think there was an African team that could beat Team USA,” Brown said. Global FIBA.
At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the United States will meet in Group A against France, Iran and the Czech Republic. Germany in Group B is the group opponent of Nigeria and also plays against Australia and Italy.