By Devon POV Mason | Shadow League Reporter
Team USA has just accomplished something that hasn’t been done in 17 years — lose a basketball game at the Olympics.
Gone are the days of the “Redeem Team” with the late great Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, and the equally stacked 2012 version.
Both loader squads walked through just about all competition with ease.
Following two straight losses to open exhibition play in preparation for Tokyo 2020, it looked as if order was restored by Damian Lillard and company following two straight wins over Argentina and Spain quite handily.
But things quickly fell apart again in the first group stage matchup against France which boasted 5 NBA players, including Defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier.
Team USA fell flat on their face after halftime. This is suppose to be KD and Dame’s team and neither could be found in the second stanza.
The result of their ineptitude was a 83-76 win for France.
It’s gotten so bad, fans on Twitter are calling
for the return of Olympic team legends LBJ and Melo.
They rank first and third all-time in Olympic scoring. Melo holds many records for not only Team USA basketball, but also for Olympic competition as well.
The future Naismith Hall of Famer holds the records for most threes made in a game with (9) and most attempted with (15). Couple that with his scoring average being fourth highest in Olympic history.
We all know the type of leader LBJ is and having him scoring and assisting is something this team could use in abundance.
He’s won two golds already and his 88 career assists in Olympic play is the most all-time. He’s tied for second with David Robinson in games played.
But neither of those future Hall of Famers are walking through that proverbial door in Tokyo.
So unless the likes of Durant, Lillard, and Jayson Tatum can figure it out and not shoot a combined 10-28 and have others chip in, this team has a really good chance of going two and out — embarrassingly without a medal.
This entire situation also shows a lack of effort and intensity on the part of some of the players on Team USA.
They better figure it out and fast. The great Gregg Popovich has to take some heat too, as one more loss eliminates them from medal contention.