The United States’ men’s Olympic basketball team—historically the best during the contest—suffered its first loss in nearly 20 years during the Tokyo Olympic Games on Sunday.
The U.S. Men’s Basketball Team, which hasn’t suffered a defeat since 2004, saw its 44-game win streak come to an end after losing to France in an 83-76 loss.
Team USA’s biggest stars, Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard, both shot poorly and combined for 21 points during the whole game. Jrue Holiday led Team USA with 18 points, coming off an NBA Finals victory with the Milwaukee Bucks.
A number of NBA superstars, including Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, are not on the team after deciding to skip the Olympics due to injuries.
Evan Fournier led France with 28 points and four rebounds, while fellow France star Rudy Gobert added 14 points and nine rebounds.
Toward the end of the game, there was, according to an ESPN analysis, an “incredible possession in which the Americans managed to get five shots off and missed them all.”
“The final three were wide-open 3-point attempts by Zach LaVine, Kevin Durant, and Jrue Holiday,” the analysis said. “Team USA, loaded with offensive talent and built to be the best shooting team in the tournament, didn’t make a basket for the last 4½ minutes,” it added. “Over and over the Americans got open looks, and over and over they missed them. The team has various chemistry and timing challenges, but horrid execution cost it badly in this one.”
Team USA hadn’t lost an Olympic contest since 2004 when it suffered a defeat against Argentina during the Athens Games. In 2004, the Americans finished with three losses and finished with the bronze medal.
The team will attempt to bounce back with a Wednesday game against the Iranian national team and will finish up their group play against the Czech Republic on Friday. France, meanwhile, will play Iran and Czech Republic this week.
Since 1992, the United States is 53-4 including its recent loss to France.
The Tokyo Olympics, meanwhile, is poised to see major ratings declines as compared with previous Games.
The kickoff of the Summer Olympics drew about 17 million viewers across the United States on July 23 on NBC, roughly a 36 percent decline over the opening ceremony in 2016, according to preliminary figures from the Comcast-owned broadcaster. The 2016 Olympics itself saw a 35 percent decline from the 40.7 million viewers who watched the London Summer Games.
The International Olympic Committee last year decided to postpone the 2020 Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this year’s contests are occurring without spectators. Tokyo, meanwhile, is 13 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast.
Some commentators online cheered the Americans’ loss on Sunday as the NBA embraced Black Lives Matter and the left-wing group’s rhetoric, even painting the slogan on basketball court floors starting last season amid widespread riots, protest, and violence.
From The Epoch Times