The United States won its third straight gold medal in basketball, but it was far from the dominant victory everyone thought it would be, and didn’t come without its hiccups. USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo blames it on the lack of international experience on the roster, and vows that the team the U.S. sends to Tokyo in 2020 will be more seasoned.
From ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
So that’s why USAB chairman Jerry Colangelo didn’t need a lot of time Sunday night, after the medals were handed out here in Rio, to make an immediate declaration about the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“We can’t go back again with 10 new players,” Colangelo said. “That’s not going to happen.”
“For me,” he added with unmistakable relief, “I’m glad we got past this.”
The only players on the United States’ roster that also played on the 2012 gold-medal team in London were Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, with a handful more players who had been on the FIBA World Cup team in 2014. But with a slew of big-name Olympians choosing to sit out of this tournament for injury or other reasons — a list that included LeBron James, Chris Paul, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis — Colangelo had to put together a different roster. The U.S. team featured plenty of talented players but not a lot of continuity, and that’s something Colangelo isn’t going to let happen again.