Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Team USA coach Gregg Popovich: ‘We’ve been preparing for France for two years … I think about it every day’

Gregg Popovich leaves after Team USA loses to France at 2019 FIBA World Cup

DONGGUAN, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 11: Gregg Popovich coach of USA leaves after the quarter final of 2019 FIBA World Cup between USA and France at Dongguan Basketball Center on September 11, 2019 in Dongguan, China. (Photo by Zhizhao Wu/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Team USA fell from medal contention with a devastating loss to France in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Sunday, the Americans will open the Tokyo Olympics against France.

Team USA coach Gregg Popovich:

We’ve been preparing for France for two years.
I think about it every day.

What a telling quote on the state of USA Basketball.

It’s healthy for the U.S. to take its opponents so seriously. The rest of the world has caught up. Arrogance is now an especially misguided approach.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Team USA is 6-0 against France in the Olympics. Every game was decided by double digits with an average margin of 30 – until 2016. In the last Olympics, the U.S. won by just three. Then, France pulled the World Cup upset.

France has a strong roster for the Tokyo Games, including Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Celtics wing Evan Fournier, Clippers forward Nicolas Batum and Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina.

This should be a good opening test for the U.S.