Americans suffer embarrassing World Cup basketball loss after stars' exodus

Ruben Hill
September 11, 2019

This will be the first time the United States have failed to win a medal at the World Cup since 2002, when they finished sixth. In fact, this is the first time that the USA will be leaving a major tournament without a medal since 2002.

The United States' winning streak in worldwide competitions ended Wednesday with a loss to France in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Even though head coach Gregg Popovich has largely treated Team USA as an equal opportunity roster, its frankly perplexing the degree to which Mitchell was frozen out down the stretch. "And in this situation, it hurts more". "This is very important and we would've loved to have won just like any other team". The U.S. had won two straight World Cups before the defeat.

The Americans can now finish as high as fifth through the consolation portion of the bracket, which would be the worst standing in worldwide competition since a 2002 iteration of Team USA finished sixth while playing in home turf in Indiana. They're going home with a berth in the 2020 Olympics secured but no medal.

France were 51-41 ahead in the third quarter before the United States moved into a 72-65 lead, but the French fought back to take the victory. The Jazz star didn't take a shot in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. The centre racked up 21 points, 16 rebounds and two assists in 34:09 minutes and was a nightmare for the US whenever they tried to come near the paint. Mitchell and the Jazz could both be in store for a special year if he is able to carry over the momentum from this summer into the upcoming season.

Les Bleus didn't make it easy on Team USA from the get-go. "A lot of people counted us out, but we got the win".

Gobert said beating the Americans wasn't the goal - winning gold is.

After the game, FIBA shared on its website three more statistics, which add an historic perspective to Team USA's loss to France.

On the other side of the coin are Celtics fans, who might understandably feel slightly concerned following the United States' elimination from the World Cup, considering the fact that four of Boston's key contributors were on Team USA's roster.

France had been 0-9 against the major worldwide play, most of those outcomes one-sided affairs. France capitalised on that and were led by the exceptional Rudy Gobert, as well as Evan Fournier and Frank Ntilikina.

None of the USA players who played that afternoon in Rio is on this year's World Cup team. At the end of the third, the Americans led 66-63.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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