In a loss that shocked the international basketball community, Team USA fell to France in the FIBA Basketball World Cup by a score of 89-79. Rudy Gobert proved to be the hero for France while Donovan Mitchell of the United States put up a valiant effort. The American team was on rocky footing from the start and barely squeaked by some of their weaker opponents. Regardless, they were able to get to the quarterfinals but clearly didn’t have the talent necessary to win the entire tournament.
According to Aris Barkas of Eurohoops, Mitchell was asked after the game about those who decided to skip out on the Team USA experience. Mitchell was pretty dismissive of those players and would much rather focus on the guys who stepped up to the plate and represented their country with pride.
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“If they didn’t come here, that’s on them,” Mitchell said. “On top of that guys, there are also those who didn’t make it they that want to compete too. I know how I feel and I know how those guys feel. Why don’t you focus on the ones who do that? Our seasons have ended and we came right here for work with coach Pop and for all these other coaches. For us, it’s not about who is not here. We have 12 guys that wanted to compete for American, just like every other country. It sucks that some in our country some people don’t feel that way about us but we don’t care. We wanted to compete and we did.”
Perhaps next time around, more American players will want to show out for their country, especially after the embarrassment of not even winning a medal.