The United States’ Olympic team for men’s basketball lost to France in the first round on Sunday, with an 83-76 final score.
This marks the first Olympic loss for the men’s basketball team since 2004, when they lost to Argentina. France, which is ranked seventh worldwide in men’s basketball, has several NBA players on its roster, which gives them a step up. Additionally, in international rules, a defensive three seconds is not required and players are allowed to push the ball off the rim, even if it’s begun to fall into the net.
U.S. Coach Gregg Popovich, who was an assistant coach at the 2004 Olympics, responded that, “There’s nothing to be surprised about,” and gave credit to France for a good game. During the 2019 World Cup, France received bronze, while the U.S. didn’t place at all. The U.S. team has lost five of the last eight games they’ve played.
According to ESPN, the U.S. team will have to beat Iran and the Czech Republic in their final two pool-play games in order to make it to the medal round. However, if they were to lose another game, there’s a possibility that they could still advance on scoring margin.
ARTICLE: RITA VOGT
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SI.COM
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