2020 Tokyo Olympics: U.S. Men’s Basketball Takes First Loss Since 2004

by Madison Miller

After the 2020 Tokyo Olympics kicked off on Friday, Team USA has been off to a pretty good start in terms of medals. As of now, Team USA has four gold medals, two silver, and four bronze.

We’re sitting below China and Japan in the rankings.

Despite being early in the Games, Team USA fans were shocked by a major upset that happened today. The USA men’s basketball team lost to France during the very first game in the group round stage. The team lost 83-76.

According to People, this is actually the first Olympic basketball loss for the U.S. since 2004. At that time, the team lost to Argentina during the semifinals. France beat the team in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, making this a consecutive loss. The team also lost back-to-back exhibition games for the third time since 1992.

It was a close game, however. Team USA remained in the lead down until there were only a few minutes left to go in the final round. The team can largely thank Jrue Holiday, a Milwaukee Bucks guard, for this success and his madly impressive run on the court. However, a lot of missed shots and turnovers left room for France to come in and sweep up a win.

Men’s Olympic Basketball Team Shocking Loss

The loss came as a shock to many Americans. A huge part of this is due to the continued and non-interrupted success of the Team USA men’s basketball team. The Olympics team coach, Gregg Popovich, responded to this idea that U.S. teams are just automatically expected to win.

“I think that’s a little bit of hubris if you think the Americans are supposed to just roll out the ball and win. I mean, we’ve got to work for it just like everybody else. And for those 40 minutes, they played better than we did,” Popovich said.

This isn’t Team USA’s last time on the court. The loss today will be used as a learning experience going into their next game on Wednesday. They will be playing Iran during that match-up.

“We have to be more consistent … had two nine-point leads and one 10-point lead, and then an eight-point lead at the end of the game, and we gave all of those up because of lack of consistent defense, too many errors. We had, on offense, dry possessions where we didn’t move and took ill-advised shots. So you understand it, you look at it, and you go to work and you try to get better,” Popovich also said.

Women’s Basketball Team USA

Meanwhile, the women’s basketball team is off to a tremendous start. According to ESPN, the U.S. women’s team won the past six gold medals for the 5×5 Olympic basketball competition. As for 3×3 basketball, the U.S. team won both games on Saturday. They knocked off France, which was top-ranked. First Lady Jill Biden was there to watch that game.

The team could be on their way to a seventh-straight gold medal during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The team has a 49-game Olympic winning streak going back to 1992.

Women’s basketball will face Nigeria tomorrow at 11:40 p.m.