Team USA sans LeBron James 'sleepwalk' to lose first Olympic basketball game in 17 years

With stars like LeBron James and Steph Curry opting to sit out this years' Olympics, fans had pinned their hopes on Kevin Durant and company


                            Team USA sans LeBron James 'sleepwalk' to lose first Olympic basketball game in 17 years
Kevin Durant #7 and JaVale McGee #11 of Team United States walk off the court after the United States lost to France in the Men's Preliminary Round Group B game on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Tensions were at an all-time high ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as most of NBA's finest chose not to be part of this year's Team USA basketball team at the Olympics. But with the current team's disappointing match with France, social media has unleashed a frenzy of criticism on Team USA for losing their first-ever Olympic game in 17 years. Accusing them of looking 'miserable' and 'sleepwalking', Twitter has dubbed the 2020 Olympics' USA basketball team as the "worst team ever".

Team USA's stint at Olympics this year was already under fire with stars like LeBron James and Steph Curry opting to sit out, and training for the upcoming 2021-22 campaign instead. Utah's Donovan Mitchell had also declined to play in the Olympics to fix a right ankle injury, while Phoenix's Chris Paul, as well as Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, had all declined invitations to be part of the team. Still, hopes for a fourth consecutive gold at the Olympics was rife with San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich leading the US team. Unfortunately, even with stars like Kevin Durant taking the stage, Team USA couldn't live up to the expectations. 

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Criticism about the team comes after Durant and his men lost to France 83-76 in their very opening match at this year's Olympics. This is the first time the USA men's team has lost in the last 25 games. Their winning streak dates back to 2004 as the team bagged a bronze medal in the Greece Olympics that year, marking the only occasion the team had failed to win basketball gold since the 'Dream Team' era started. The US has won six of the last seven Olympic men's tournaments, a tradition started by Michael Jordan-led 'Dream Team' in Barcelona, during the 1992 Olympics. 

With two losses in their training camp ahead of the games, Popovich's men were treated to further horror with Sunday's match against France. When US was leading with a 74-67 score, there was less than four minutes remaining. This was when France's Evan Fournier sparked a 14-0 run that helped his team win with 28 points for the game. As expected, Twitter has since erupted into flames of fury against the US team's performance. 

The United States men's basketball team lines up during introductions before their game against France in the Men's Preliminary Round Group B game on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on July 25, 2021 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

One user took it to Twitter to tweet: "Let’s be honest, this has to be the worst men’s USA basketball team that was ever sent to the Olympics." Another chimed in: "This is the real dream team folks, they are SLEEPWALKING out there." A third critic wrote: "Easily the worst USA team ever assembled since they introduced NBA players. Defensively they are horrible. France ran the same out of bounds play twice and got two open Corner shots." Another commented: "This team USA basketball maybe the worst team ever fielded by the USA."

Users were also quick to sympathize with the US team also, as one wrote: "Team USA basketball looks pretty miserable & if you don't see that ....." While others quipped with alternative suggestions for coaches, one user writing: "Put LeBron on coaching team, smh." Luckily for fans, and the US basketball team, there's a match on Wednesday, July 28, against Iran and another with Czech Republic the coming weekend – both offering Popovich's men ample opportunities to make up for their disappointing start.



 



 



 



 



 



 

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