Team USA’s men’s basketball team suffered one of the biggest upsets in recent international basketball history on Saturday night.
It was just an exhibition match, so it didn’t really count for anything, but Nigeria took down the United States, 90-87, on Saturday evening.
This was the first exhibition game for Team USA, which is gearing up for a gold medal run at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo later this month. The Americans should remain the favorites for the gold medal, but if Saturday’s game is any indication, they have their work cut out for them.
Team USA started Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant and Bam Adebayo.
In Team USA’s first exhibition game in preparation for Tokyo Olympics, Nigeria delivers upset with 90-87 victory. https://t.co/eFWCyWep9W
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 11, 2021
Nigeria, meanwhile, was led by longtime NBA coach Mike Brown. The Nigerian team features several NBA players, including Precious Achiuwa and Josh Okogie, among others.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) July 11, 2021
This was quite the win for Brown, who was coaching against Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr. Villanova head coach Jay Wright is also a member of the Team USA staff.
I like how Mike Brown kept his hands in his pockets in the closing secs of Nigeria's upset over Team USA. Inside he had to be hopping up & down, screaming, because there has never been a greater international win for this nation or the continent of Africa. He beat Pop & Kerr, too
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) July 11, 2021
This was just the first exhibition game for Team USA, which should play better with more time on the court together. Still, this is a pretty big warning sign for the Americans – the Olympics will not be easy.
Incredible 90-87 victory for coach Mike Brown and Nigeria. Reminder for Team USA about how unpredictable FIBA basketball can be. https://t.co/bDR4T4jwDm
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 11, 2021
This was Game 1 of a five-game exhibition schedule for the Americans. Team USA had just nine available players from its Olympics roster, as there are multiple players still competing in the NBA Finals.
Team USA’s next game will come on Monday night against Australia.