United States basketball has regained its dominating style of play under the leadership of Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski. It hasn’t been that long since the Americans lost an Olympics’ game, though. The last loss came in 2004.
The United States’ basketball team last lost in the Summer Olympics in 2004 at the Athens’ Games. The loss came against Argentina in the semifinals of the medal round. The U.S., led by Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan, fell to Argentina, 89-81. The U.S. went on to win the bronze medal.
Here’s a recap of the game, from the Associated Press:
The Argentines were better passers, shooters and defenders than
the Americans. They confronted them with a mixture of man-to-man
and zone defenses, and confounded them with an assortment of back
picks and deft passes that turned the start of the second half into
a layup drill.
Argentina’s players celebrated wildly when the game ended, and
the crowd yelled “Ole!”
San Antonio Spurs’ star Manu Ginobili led the way in the win for Argentina, scoring 29 points in the win.
The loss meant the United States would not win the gold medal in men’s basketball at the Olympics for the first time since 1988.
That loss was, stunningly, the third of the Athens’ Olympics for the United States. The Americans also fell in group play to Lithuania, 94-90, and Puerto Rico, 92-73.
This was the Americans’ roster at those Olympics, from Basketball Reference:
Since that loss to Argentina, the United States have won 19 straight Olympic contests. During that time frame, the Americans have won the gold medal at two straight Olympics (2008 and ’12).
At this year’s Olympics in Rio, Brazil, the United States men’s basketball team is 2-0. The Americans are currently playing Australia.
The United States have two more games following the contest against Australia. The Americans play Serbia on Friday and France on Sunday.