Marcus Smart calls Team USA blowout loss to Select Team ’embarrassing’
The USA Men’s national basketball team is preparing for the FIBA World Cup, which is slated to begin over the course of the next few weeks. Multiple players were in line to make the final squad of 12 players, but perhaps head coach Gregg Popovich will change his tack after the primary team was soundly defeated by the select team by a final margin of 36-17 in a scrimmage ahead of the first exhibition game of the tournament against Spain on August 16 at 10 p.m. EST. According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, the only player willing to speak up on the subject as it was occurring was Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics.
All you had to was ask. FYI, why I’m a huge Marcus Smart fan: he was the only one willing to speak up and call it for what it was. “C’mon guys, this is embarrassing!” https://t.co/uLn42V0Fme pic.twitter.com/5ie4VklgMP
— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) August 14, 2019
Jonathon Givony of ESPN provided the list of players that were on the select team who defeated the primary team, which was comprised of players such as Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell, Brook Lopez, P.J. Tucker and De’Aaron Fox. The select team, which was coached by former Knicks and Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, waxed the primary team with relative ease apparently:
Here's the LA Select Team roster USA Basketball assembled, mostly from the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, currently scrimmaging in LA tonight versus the 15 NBA players vying to make the World Cup Team. Cool to see USA Basketball reward some of the guys that helped get them to China. pic.twitter.com/5kni54gRd0
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) August 14, 2019
Marc Stein of the New York Times also reported that this 19-point loss to end the day added insult to injury, as the primary team had already lost once already on Wednesday to the select team (by 3 points in a 10-minute game earlier in the day).
With a multitude of American stars opting to skip the FIBA World Cup this year to focus on their seasons next year with their respective teams, this might be the weakest a USA men’s national team has been since it lost in the 2004 Olympics. Let’s hope there’s no repeat of that ignominious defeat.