How the mighty – and the woke – have fallen! The dominant international men’s basketball powerhouse forever, Team USA, suffered a shocking, embarrassing pre-Olympic exhibition game loss to lowly Nigeria on Sunday. The NBA’s wokeness sure doesn’t fly on the world hoops stage.
Ranked 22nd in world, Nigeria downed the Americans 90-87. It was the USA’s first-ever loss to an African team. The USA is now 54-3 since NBA players took over U.S. Olympic basketball, and the team had won its last 39 games. In two previous games against Nigeria, the USA had won by a whopping 127 points combined.
Greg Popovich (at right in photo), the most woke and politically outspoken coach in the NBA, coached the U.S. to this disaster. It’s certainly a red alert for him and all the American NBA players who have been disgracefully carrying on about social justice, Black Lives Matter and Donald Trump in recent years.
Nigeria rained down 20 three-point shots, twice as many as the USA. Precious Achiuwa blocked a Kevin Durant dunk attempt in the final moments. The 29.5-point underdogs who don’t make the news for social justice obsessions wanted it more and deserved it more.
The Associated Press reported:
“If there was any expectation of invincibility for the Americans heading into the Tokyo Olympics, it’s already gone — after Nigeria beat the U.S. 90-87 on Saturday night, an international shocker pulled off by a roster primarily filled by little-known NBA players that found a way to beat a group of All-NBA, All-Star and max-contract performers.”
Of course, the AP wasn’t going to bring up the American NBA players’ distractions with wokeness.
“Just goes to show that we have to play better,” said Jayson Tatum (at right in photo) of the Boston Celtics and Team USA. Gee. Ya think?
Instead of making excuses for Team USA’s pitiful performance, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said, “Nigeria’s come a long way with their basketball.” I wonder what he said to the American team behind closed doors. Betting it wasn’t kind.
Mike Brown, the assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors, is coaching Nigeria’s Olympic basketball team. If he keeps this up, he may go down as the “Herb Brooks” of international hoops. In 1980, Brooks coached the underdog USA men’s hockey team to an Olympic Gold medal and stunning victory over the Soviet Union.
Of course, the U.S. is nothing like Soviet Russia, but our NBA stars certainly needed a jolt out of their social justice and virtue signaling world. While they’ve been boycotting games in honor of criminals (Jacob Blake in 2020), blabbing non-stop about Black Lives Matter and so-called “systemic racism” in America, other international players have been focusing on basketball.
Once again, we see that all the money and wokeness in the world - and the complacency that can come with it - doesn’t always beat heart, hunger and desire.