After two weeks of tournament, we’re closing another chapter in the history of the Olympic Games. But before heading to the next 2021-2022 sport season and looking at the next Olympic Games, let’s take the time to talk about what happened during the basketball tournament !
Historical Team USA
These Olympics are first of all the success of Team USA. We were doubting of how far the men’s team could go after disapointing exhibition game and a tough start during the group phase (a loss against France and struggles against Czech Republic) but the Popovich’s players were gaining strengh game after game. A well managed final phase led them to the final against France. The French was dreaming about a gold medal but the final game was Team USA best game. Unguardable, Kevin Durant caused troubles to the French team. They were doubted, they were struggling to play as a team but in the end they honoured Team USA favourite status. Not a perfect team, not the best Team USA we’ve ever seen, but a winning team.
Besides the men’s team, we had a simply unbeatable Women’s Team USA. If we had some doubts regarding the men’s team, we knew that the Women’s team would just crush everything. A roster full of the best players from the WNBA, Team USA had one goal in Tokyo : writing history, especially for Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi who won their 5th Olympic gold medal. An impressive run that started more than fifteen years ago in Athens at the 2004 Olympic Games. Yes, these Olympic Games definitely left another historical mark in Team USA history at the Olympic Games. A third gold medal for Kevin Durant, a fifth gold medal for Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi… legendary we said.
High level basketball
I really enjoyed this tournament. Most of the teams were a real pleasure to watch, especially the Slovenia men’s team, the Spanish men’s team and the Belgian women’s team. We had a surprising Japanese team in the women’s tournament, a hell of a battle between Spain and Slovenia during the men’s tournament group phase, a unguardable Luka Doncic and an all-time Patty Mills as he led Australia to a bronze medal after a 42 points game during the bronze medal game ! It’s been two weeks of great, beautiful and enjoyable basketball. This tournament confirmed something : international basketball is great, really great. Evan Fournier, Ricky Rubio, Luka Doncic, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Emma Meesseman, Ann Wauters, Sonja Vasic, Rui Machida and the list goes on. Team USA is not alone, not anymore.
The end of an era
I couldn’t end this article without having a word about a bunch of all time players who played their last tournament with their national team (and sometimes their very last basketball game). Luis Scola, Pau Gasol, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Sonja Vasic, Ann Wauters and Jelena Brooks played in Tokyo their last tournament with their national team. As I said, a bunch of all time players who all marked an entire generation of basketball fans around the world, the kind of players we’ll always remember about. We had tears, joy, wins and lost. But above all we had
great players legends. These Olympics marked the end of an era for an entire generation as we are now enjoying the current one… and waiting for the next one…
Luis, Pau, Diana, Sue, Sonja, Ann and Jelena, thank you for being the sports example we need (and sometimes the life example we need) and above all, congrats on your amazing international career, you deserved it.
For everyone else : see you Paris 2024 !