Kobe Bryant reacts to Team USA’s FIBA World Cup collapse, citing ‘Barcelona 1992 days are over’
Team USA is in the midst of a shocking losing streak at the FIBA World Cup, first losing to France in the quarterfinals and then falling to Serbia. This is the first time the men’s basketball team will not be winning an award at a major competition since 2002.
Pundits and fans expressed their disappointment at the team’s early exit in the World Cup. Los Angeles Lakers legend and former Team USA mainstay Kobe Bryant gave his take on the situation:
Kobe Bryant on the USA losing games in the international stage: "The Barcelona 1992 days are over"#FIBAWC
— Aris Barkas (@arbarkas) September 13, 2019
The iteration of the Team USA Kobe was talking about was The Dream Team, a squad made up of the best NBA players of the ’80s and ’90s. They won all of their games in Barcelona and outscored their opponents by 32 points per contest.
They had legendary players on the team who are now Hall of Famers. Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Scottie Pippen all suited up for the Stars and Stripes, among other legends.
Kobe’s comments weren’t necessarily a dig at the USA’s current level of development. It’s more of a commentary on how basketball has become a global game.
Kobe had this to say about the global game, as reported by Eurohoops’ Dionysis Aravantinos:
“The rest of the world has been caught up for quite some time. It’s to the point where us in the U.S. are going to win some, going to lose some. There’s just great basketball being played.”
You can see plenty of NBA players in the tournament. Frank Ntilikina, Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier, and Rudy Gobert whooped the United States with France in the quarterfinals. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 28 points and Nikola Jokic had eight assists as Serbia triumphed over the United States.
The game has grown, and Team USA needs to discard the thought they’re still way better than the rest. Of course, it’s worth nothing that Team USA didn’t have its best in this World Cup, but the rest of the world continues to catch up regardless.