Gregg Popovich: “The gap in talent shrinks every year”

2021-07-25T17:42:43+00:00 2021-07-25T19:18:32+00:00.

Aris Barkas

25/Jul/21 17:42

The coach of the San Antonio Spurs explained why the game is now really global after the USA defeat to France

By Eurohoops team/

Team USA was defeated in the Olympics for the first time since 2004, however, this shouldn’t be big news anymore according to USA national team coach Gregg Popovich.

“When you lose a game you’re not surprised, you’re disappointed. I don’t understand the word surprise – that sort of disses the French team, so to speak, as if we were supposed to beat them by 30 or something. That’s a hell of a team. They’ve got a great coaching staff, they’ve got NBA players, they’ve got other talented players playing in Europe, they’ve been together for a long time. I don’t know why that would be a surprise. I think that’s a little bit of hubris if you think the Americans are supposed to just roll out the ball and win. I mean, we’ve got to work for it just like everybody else. And for those 40 minutes, they played better than we did. The gap in talent shrinks every year as there are more and more great players all over the world. And you need to give the French team credit for playing well. They were more consistent than we were on both ends of the court. So, it’s as simple as that, “coach Popovich said while explaining why France’s two wins over the USA in the last two games aren’t a surprise.

To be exact, France beat the USA also in 2019 in the FIBA World Cup with coach Pop being also on the bench. And before the tip-off of the Olympics, Popovich admitted that the 2019 defeat was still on his mind.

Speaking about his own team and especially about NBA champion Jrue Holiday’s outstanding performance straight after flying for 13 hours to Tokyo and arriving less than 24 hours before the opening game, Popovich added: “I’m not a doctor or a psychologist to explain it. He just did what he did. It’s just a testament to his character and his competitiveness, he was great, he kept us in the game. And that’s just who he is. So you gotta give him credit for that.”