Mission accomplished: gold, once again, for the 16th time in 19 Olympic attempts for the United States. This happened with the men’s team, while the gold medal was also awarded by the women’s team.
In the men’s match, the Americans beat France 87-82 against all odds to win their fourth consecutive Olympic gold, while the women’s team defeated Japan 90-75 to claim their seventh consecutive Olympic title.
Without top stars like LeBron James, Steph Curry and Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant would have been the number one and averaged 20.2 points to lead his team to the title. This is Durant’s third Olympic gold medal, equaling him with American Carmelo Anthony in the men’s championship record. The Americans have now won the gold medal in men’s basketball at every Olympics since Beijing 2008.
“The relationships that Durant builds with his teammates, the respect he gets, and the joy he wields is like osmosis. That goes for all the other players. That kind of love for the game and for people is what drives him. It makes him even more special,” USA coach Greg Popovich said.
Unlike the men’s team, the women’s supremacy with another dominant victory in the Olympic finals from Atlanta 1996 to Rio 2016. The team has won all Olympic finals by more than 20 points and won nine gold medals in the last 10 games. The only “lack” of his bronze record in 1992 after a loss in the semi-finals.
In addition to the dominant teams from the United States, Japan, Slovenia and China, all of them put on some revealing performances at the tournament. The Japanese women’s team finished with the first medal in its history after losing to the United States in the final. The silver medal is the best result for host Japan, whose previous best finish, fifth, came from Montreal in 1976, and it is equal to the Olympic best result in Asian women’s basketball for second place, with China winning the silver medal in 1992.
In the history of basketball details and records, American Scottie Pippen twice won the Olympic gold medal in Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996, while Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving won the NBA title and the Olympic gold medal in the same anus. And for American coach Greg Popovich, he’s completing an Olympic trip after accepting the assignment to replace Mike Krzyzewski.
“Being a part of the Olympics was a dream,” Popovich said. He agrees that team formation has been a challenge: without Kobe and LeBron and in the face of an ever-changing league, a shortage of stars due to injuries and other factors. The national team’s first setbacks – losing in pre-Olympic display matches to Nigeria and Australia and losing to France in the team’s first Olympic game – made the season come under heavy criticism.
“Greg Popovich should take the blame for the poor performance of the US men’s basketball team,” said the Los Angeles Times.
“It’s time to face the facts, NBA coach Greg Popovich is miserable at Olympic basketball,” noted USA Today.
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