Former NBA big man Luc Longley fired off some unfiltered comments following Friday’s 95-88 loss to Spain at this year’s FIBA World Cup.
As part of his postgame interview, Longley, who serves as an assistant coach with Australia, claimed that Spain has been favored in some way by the basketball gods:
“Spain gets kissed on the d*** by the basketball gods every time we play them,” Longley told Olgun Uluc of FOX Sports Australia.
Longley feels that the Spanish side has been fortunate in their matchups, and Friday’s FIBA World Cup game turned out to be a hard-fought battle, finishing with two overtime frames. The two teams played to a tie in the first overtime period (9-9), but the Spaniards pulled away in the second (15-8).
Marc Gasol was an absolute monster for the Spanish side, racking up 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field (3-of-9 from beyond the arc), six rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 38 minutes of playing time.
Patty Mills led the Boomers with an impressive 34 points on 11-of-25 shooting (4-of-11 from downtown), three rebounds, two assists and one steal in a whopping 45 minutes of action.
Longley says this was a hard loss to take:
“Gut-wrenching for the guys,” Longley told FOX Sports. “They have been so f***ing – I beg your pardon – they’ve been so good, and so consistent. We played so hard. I felt like they deserved to win that game. It doesn’t feel… it doesn’t feel like that’s the right result. Obviously we cost ourselves the game in a bunch of ways, but you can’t call individual plays or individual stats out of the game, and explain a win or a loss always.”
Longley knows his players are upset about Friday’s loss, but he’s asking them to stay focused on their upcoming game for the bronze:
“Do what they’ve gotta do to express all of that frustration without costing them physically, without doing anything to jeopardize; we’ve got a bronze medal game coming. I know it’s a consolation prize, but I’d sure like a bronze medal. I still don’t have one.”
Australia’s third-place game will be played against France. Tip-off inside Wukesong Sport Arena is scheduled for 4:00 a.m. ET on Sunday.