You fight for what you love.
It’s a pretty simple sentiment — when you love something, you’ll do anything to protect, honor and serve it. You’ll sacrifice your body, heart and soul for the betterment of that love.
When it comes to the coach and players of Team USA basketball, one thing has been made clear — they don’t love America and, therefore, aren’t willing to fight for her.
Despite having the most talent of any basketball team in the entire world, by far, Team USA men’s basketball has greatly underachieved.
The team lost its opening match to France after having already lost five of its previous eight games, including exhibitions and the 2019 FIBA World Cup, according to USA Today.
Team USA did manage to grab its first win on Wednesday against Iran, although winning against Iran isn’t particularly something to write home about.
The only two players of note on Iran’s roster are Hamed Haddadi, a 36-year-old former NBA role player, and Arsalan Kazemi, a former college basketball star at Oregon who never managed to make it into the NBA.
Again, the gap in talent between Team USA and the rest of the world is staggering. While most other teams have one or two NBA stars on their roster, Team USA’s is chock-full, with superstars such as Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Damion Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Zach Lavine, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Bam Abedayo.
All of the above players, if placed on virtually any of the other Olympic teams, would instantly become the first or second best player.
So, why then is Team USA losing?
Maybe it has to do with the fact that Team USA’s players and head coach are actively ashamed of their country.
Throughout the last half of the 2019-2020 NBA season, every one of Team USA’s players seemed to say as much when they chose to kneel for the national anthem before every single game.
It was then, following the death of George Floyd, that those players fully embraced the anti-American Black Lives Matter movement by protesting against America’s supposed “systemic racism.”
The worst of the anti-American drivel, however, has come from the team’s head coach, Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.
Popovich has been at the forefront of the NBA’s social justice push and has repeatedly shown his distaste for patriotism in the past.
In 2017, when asked about NFL players kneeling for the national anthem, Popovich said “the flag is irrelevant.”
“It’s just a symbol that people glom onto for political reasons, just like [Dick] Cheney back in the Iraq war,” Popovich said, The Score reported.
In an even more blatant display of anti-American hatred, Popovich claimed “we live in a racist country” in 2018, according to Bleacher Report.
Furthermore, many of the country’s top players — including Lebron James — chose not to represent the U.S. in the 2020 Olympic Games.
The primary reason for this? NBA players value NBA championships over Olympic gold medals.
After all, there is much more personal cachet to be gained in leading a team to a championship than in winning an Olympic gold medal, which is looked on as more of a national achievement.
Put simply, American players would rather win an NBA title for themselves than an Olympic gold medal for their country.
But it didn’t always used to be that way.
While preparing for the 2008 Olympic Games, the late Kobe Bryant said that winning a gold medal and playing for your country is much more important.
“I think winning a gold medal is more important because you’re playing for your country,” Bryant said, according to Bleacher Report.
“You’re not playing for a region or a state or a brand. You are playing for the United States of America.”
If only today’s players had as much respect for their country.
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