"The best team was at home": for most analysts, the US team, whose best players were absent, was logically beaten by France.
A historical exploit of some, unpublished defeat of others. For the first time since 2006, the US basketball team fell from its pedestal in official international competition. "Team USA", two-time world champion, was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Mondial-2019, Wednesday, September 11 in Dongguan (China), by the French (89-79). A first for the Blues.
To measure the extent of US disillusionment, the site of New York Post recalls the impressive series of 58 consecutive victories won by the US team in international competition since its last defeat thirteen years ago. She "Was in the running to win three consecutive World Cups after winning three gold medals in a row at the Olympic Games in the same period", He recalls. "But the best the Americans can hope for in China is a fifth place"he adds to emphasize the contrast between ambition and reality.
" Whose fault is it ? "
" Whose fault is it ? ", wonders the sports information website The Bleacher Report. Of course, the absence of the stars of the highly publicized NBA American Championship – LeBron James, Stephen Curry or James Harden among others – takes a major place in the analysis of this historic defeat. The APNews site has found a shock formula to mitigate disappointment: "The best has won. But the best team was at home. "
An argument swept aside by American coach Gregg Popovich. "You will continue to talk about absentees, why not focus on the ones we have? ", told reporters Tony Parker's former mentor to the San Antonio Spurs. "They never played together but they entered the arena and played. They deserve to be congratulated for this, just as France deserves its victory ", he added to defend his team.
If absentees have their faults, some point to the timing and the choice of the International Federation to have moved this World Cup in an odd year, before the Olympics. "You ask the players to play the World Cup, then the NBA season and then the Olympics. I think that it encourages a lot of players to make choices ", had advanced David Stern, the former boss of the NBA, at the site theundefeated.com.
Rudy Gobert, man of the match and NBA figure
French players, including five in the NBA, have justified their presence. And Rudy Gobert, pivot of the Utah Jazz, voted best defender of the American league two years in a row, reap the laurels of a full match. With 21 points and 16 rebounds against "Team USA", he dominated his opponents. "Too much for them" advance the site Espn.com. "Impressive", for APNews who incenses all the French defense who "Has constantly thwarted the United States at the most important moments of the match".
The impact of Rudy Gobert on the match is not a surprise according to The Bleacher Report. "If you look at NBA statistics and performances, Gobert was the best player even before the start of the match. (…) Nobody in the "Team USA" had better numbers than him. " QED!
The United States will now postpone their hopes to Tokyo, where will be held in 2020 the Olympic Games, the aura will be much stronger than the world. "The good news in Wednesday's loss is that we probably will not pay much attention to it. This is also the bad news. The truth is that for most, if not all, an Olympic gold medal shines far more than the World Cup. And it's the same for an NBA title, says APNews.
Not to mention that the shockwave has already been toned down by a sports news that has moved on the ever popular American football. During the day, National Football League (NFL) star Antonio Brown was charged with rape by a former fitness coach. The revelation had the effect of a bomb and eclipsed the defeat of American basketball players.