By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
BEIJING – France has won a total of 13 medals in major FIBA tournaments. Because only one of them was gold, back in the Eurobasket 2013, having finished third in the World Cup just for the second time in the country’s history, can’t be considered a bad result.
However, it was apparent that despite the win over Australia, the current version of this French national team believed that they felt short and could have done things better. As Rudy Gobert said, while looking to his medal after the game: “I think that we could get a better color.”
With the FIBA World Cup over, France has also qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and the NBA defensive player of the year is already thinking the next summer with the national team. Is France aiming for the gold? “Yes, that would be the goal, and whatever is the competition, that’s going to be our goal,” Gobert clarified, signaling a change in the French mentality.
Since the 2000 Olympics and after the rise of the “Parker Generation,” France has won seven medals. Considering that their most recent previous success dated back to the Eurobasket bronze of 1959, things have changed for “Les Bleus.” The current generation of players wants to do more and keep building on the “Parker Generation” legacy. “All these guys did amazing things for French basketball, and now it’s time for us to write our own history,” Gobert said.
France should be considered a perennial contender in FIBA tournaments and Rudy Gobert expects strong French rosters in all major tournaments, despite other basketball commitments. “It’s a sacrifice,” he admits which the French players are ready to make.
“We could have been on vacations, we could have been with our family anywhere in the world, but we committed to come here with our “brothers” and try to win the medal. A lot of people don’t understand that, but for us, it just shows a lot of pride and our love to defend our country on the court”.
Photo credit: FIBA.Basketball