ESPN – The U.S. will leave the World Cup with its worst finish in a major international tournament, assured of finishing no better than seventh after falling to Serbia 94-89 in a consolation playoff game Thursday night.
The previous worst finish for a U.S. men’s team in 45 tournament appearances was sixth at the 2002 world championships. The Americans — the top-ranked team in the world — will be either seventh or eighth in China, depending on the outcome of their consolation finale Saturday.
Just a couple of days after getting bounced by France in the FIBA World Cup (Team USA’s first loss in 13 years, snapping a 58 game winning streak), they were officially embarrassed today, losing to Serbia in the consolation game. So no gold medal, no bronze medal, now not even a 5th place finish for the most disappointing Team USA in my lifetime.
I understand its just FIBA, I really shouldn’t care. Maybe I care more because half the team is made up of Celtics and it reflects poorly on my hometown team’s chances this season. Sure. Or maybe its just embarrassing for the US to send a team of kids and scrubs to represent the country before getting their teeth kicked in. This ain’t the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey team.
This team was in trouble from the second that Turkey game ended last week and we all knew it.
— The 300s (@The300sBoston) September 3, 2019
I also get that its become more and more popular for NBA stars today to obsess over their bodies and to manage their workload. The NBA season is long and LeBron can’t lead Team USA every single year, but where was James Harden or Anthony Davis? Steph Curry? Kawhi Leonard? Russell Westbrook? Kyrie Irving? Paul George? Klay Thompson?
Even guys like Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, and Damian Lillard could’ve carried this team to gold. So its a tough spot to be in because the US is expected to win gold every single year, but we invented the damn game and have more than 90% of the best players in the world. I don’t think being the best is asking all that much.
USA Basketball better look at this as more than just a down year; its am embarrassment to the sport. I have enough embarrassment to go around from the US Mens Soccer Team, but at least they’re just not very good. The basketball team can and should dominate. So bring me the next Dream Team. Bring me an outrageous collection of talent and just run other teams out of the gym. Its time for the USA to re-establish its dominance on the hardwood.