The U.S. Men’s Basketball Team lost in the Olympics for the first time since 2004 this past weekend, falling to France 83-76. Just like that, a streak of 25 consecutive Olympic victories dating back to their last defeat in the Athens Games 17 years ago, was snapped.
Now the U.S. faces off against Iran on Wednesday and then the Czech Republic on Saturday in their final two Group A showdowns. Should they win both games, a quarterfinals berth awaits. With a loss, the U.S. could fail to make the top eight of this 12-team tournament.
By any objective measure, what’s happening with the U.S. is an unmitigated disaster. Players are publicly turning on head coach Gregg Popovich. NBA superstars are openly mocking the American side. It’s a mess.
So what exactly is the main issue here?
In a recent interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, Ewing explained in great detail why Popovich’s U.S. Team is struggling so badly.
“I’m rooting for Coach Popovich and the U.S. Team,’’ Ewing said. “It’s an unfortunate time we’re living in right now — losing players to COVID-19 protocols. It’s harder to play now because of the Dream Team. All of the current players grew up looking up to us and watching us dominate the rest of the world. But the rest of the world caught up.
“There are so many talented players. Some of the NBA’s top players today come from all over the world. It wasn’t like that back [during the Dream Team days].”
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
Much like Ewing, Kevin Durant recently came out and diagnosed what was wrong with the American side in fairly blunt terms, but to date there have been no efforts made to fix it.
Obviously if the Americans claim gold this year, all this chatter will be forgotten. If they don’t, however, this could go down as the biggest Olympic disaster in USA Basketball history.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.