“Haven’t Won a Medal Since the 1930s”: 23YO USA Star Takes a Sly Dig at Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Co Ahead of Crucial Fiba Match

Published 09/09/2023, 3:14 PM EDT

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The FIBA World Cup is heating up, and the rivalry between the USA and Canada is reaching new heights. Team Canada has a strong team led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kelly Olynyk, and others. They finished the group stage with  a 4-1 record. However, they lost to Serbia in the semifinals. Team US’s journey to the gold was also put to an end by Germany. 

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Both teams are set to face off in the bronze medal race. Tension is running high as both teams vie for a spot on the podium. It is going to be a slightly different match for both teams since they will be playing each other’s familiar game after grueling games with the Europeans. The 23-year-old Tyrese Haliburton is amongst other players who are anticipating a tough competition. 

The history of US-Canada rivalry in Basketball

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Tyrese Haliburton recently took a sly dig at Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and his Canadian teammates ahead of their crucial match. “They haven’t won a medal since the 1930s, so they’re coming for us,” Haliburton said Saturday. “I think both of our countries will expect to see each other in the coming years. So it seems like this is kind of the start.”

The USA and Canada have a long history of rivalry in basketball, dating back to the early days of the sport. However, the USA has always dominated over Canada. They have faced off each other four times before in a FIBA final game, and each time Canada has lost. This will be the fifth time they will be facing off for a last game. The US has won several medals while Canada has struggled to keep up with i. In fact, Canada hasn’t won a medal in basketball at the highest levels of international basketball since taking home silver at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. 

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The current state of the rivalry

Despite their historical lack of success, Canada has been making strides in recent years, with a new generation of talented players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading the way. He is averaging 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 5 assists each game. 

On the other hand, other players from the US are confident about the intense face-off. “I can’t really speak for everybody else, but for me, anytime I go and play with the same intensity, same focus to win,” said Austin Reaves. The intensity was further fueled by Jalen Brunson, who called out Dillon Brooks. He is really hoping Brooks does trash talk so he can give a fitting reply. The rivalry that goes to the NBA. 

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From a Possible All-Americas Finals Showdown to Fighting for Third Place: What Went Wrong for Team USA and Canada in the FIBA World Cup?

As both teams are fighting for a podium finish, the match could be the start of a new chapter in the US-Canada basketball rivalry.

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Written by:

Chetan Kumar

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Chetan is an NBA content writer at Essentially Sports. Being an active basketball player since his school days, he has always been a dedicated follower of the NBA. His passion for the game has drove him to pursue a career in sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja

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