Team USA Basketball is off to a horrific start to the Tokyo Olympic Games after dropping the first one to France. Some are now questioning Team USA Basketball’s head coach Gregg Popovich style of coaching.
USA blew a late lead against France to lose 83-76 in their first game of group play. Several players, including Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard, had poor shooting nights. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, players were grumbling on their way back to the locker room about “running the San Antonio offense.”
Vardon also said Popovich is “horrified” by his own coaching record with Team USA, which is now 6-3 in games that count.
“To be clear, Popovich is horrified by his own record coaching this team,” Vardon wrote. “He dwells on it and hates the losing. The players are frustrated, too, grumbling on their way back to the locker room about ‘running the San Antonio offense’ when apparently they feel like there are better ideas. Pop has said, because of the truncated nature of Team USA’s training camp, the offense would be based on ‘concepts’ instead of set plays.”
Popovich had said the team’s offense will be based on “concepts” rather than set plays because of the limited preparation time, but apparently, that is not working for players.
In the history of basketball at the Summer Olympics, Team USA has never failed to medal in an Olympics that they’ve participated in. Team USA now has two must-win games to advance into the knockout rounds. They play Iran on Wednesday, followed by the Czech Republic on Saturday.