Team USA’s shocking exhibition loss to Nigeria on Saturday caught the basketball world’s attention. Since the Dream Team first took the floor, Team USA has suffered just three exhibition losses. In the aftermath of the defeat, coach Gregg Popovich explained that the result against Nigeria must serve as a learning experience.
Washington Post NBA writer Ben Golliver highlighted Popovich’s comments.
“In a way, I’m kind of glad it happened,” Team USA Coach Gregg Popovich said. “That means nothing if we don’t learn from it. It could be the most important thing in this tournament for us. ... Everybody expects us to win every game. That puts some pressure on you. For a new group, in tough circumstances, I thought they did a good job of not getting down, not blaming anybody and just playing. That will go a long way.”
In the loss, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard logged 14 points in 27 minutes of action. Nigeria’s Gabe Vincent led all scorers with 21 points. As a team, Nigeria connected on more three-pointers and won the rebounding battle.