The NBA has long been the global standard of elite basketball, but that perception was shifted radically Friday when Team USA lost to Team Australia in a stunning turn of events. As a result, the Gregg Popovich-led squad snapped its 78-game winning streak to a squad that features a standout player Pop coaches for the Spurs in Patty Mills.
For the first time in nearly 13 years, a U.S. roster of NBA players played an international game — and lost. Patty Mills scored 30 points, and Australia rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half to stun the Americans 98-94 and snap a 78-game U.S. winning streak that started with the bronze-medal game at the 2006 world championships.
“They wanted it more than us tonight,” U.S. guard Kemba Walker said. “Lesson learned for us.”
It was the first loss for the U.S. in a major international tournament or exhibition since the 2006 world championship semifinals against Greece. The Americans won the bronze there, then were unbeaten through the cycles for the 2007 FIBA Americas, 2008 Olympics, 2010 World Cup, 2012 Olympics, 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
The Aussies have a few NBA players on their team including the aforementioned Mills who plays for San Antonio, Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz, Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors, Matthew Dellavedova of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Aron Baynes of the Phoenix Suns.
The FIBA World Cup of Basketball begins next weekend with all eyes on Team USA going forward.
Team USA Loses To Team Australia, #NBATwitter & Basketball Twitter Dumbfounded was originally published on hiphopwired.com