The United States lost 90-87 to Nigeria on Saturday in Las Vegas during a preparatory match for the Tokyo Olympics, in the first-ever defeat for the nation’s basketball king against an African nation.
Nigeria, which has many NBA players in its ranks, and Mike Brown, former coach of the strongest basketball tournament in the world, at its helm, won thanks to his great skill behind the arc (20 of 42), including six 3-basket points scored by Gabe Vincent (Miami Heat) is the top scorer in this match (21 points).
On the American side, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is the top scorer with 17 points.
This American choice is not the best, LeBron James, Steph Curry or Kawi Leonard are not a part of it, but he still has many stars like Durant, Damian Lillard or Jason Tatum.
“I am very happy with what happened,” US coach Gregg Popovich commented, adding that the Nigerians have had the luxury of training together since June, when his team met for just four days.
He went on to say that defeat should be taken as an experience during the learning phase, not “the end of the world.”
In 2012, the United States broke up Nigeria by 83 points (156-73) during the London Olympics. They won 44 points (110-66) in a friendly match in 2016.
the channel CBS He described the American performance as “one of the biggest defeats in international history (athletic, editor’s note)”. “Does Team USA’s stunning defeat against Nigeria prove that the exceptional of American basketball is dead?” asked the athlete.
On the other hand, Nigerian media competed to focus on celebrating their own. “Nigeria stuns the US,” reports the independent daily The Guardian, when the Daily Trust insisted that “Nigeria is making history.”
“Their game against a big team like the USA was top-notch, from defense to offense. Commented journalist Modine Awe in an interview with AFP, who is now hoping to get a “medal” for the way they responded and took the rebounds.
The United States, which held three Olympic titles after winning the bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, is looking to regain its dominance in the world after finishing seventh in the 2019 World Cup.
They play Australia, ranked third in the world, in a friendly match on Monday.
Nigeria will also meet Australia and Argentina in a warm-up match. He will then return to Australia on July 25 for his first Olympic match, before facing Germany and then Italy, other teams in his very difficult group.