JaVale McGee Expresses His Confusion Over Fans Doubting Team USA in Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 09/14/2021, 8:54 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Basketball – Men – Group A – France v United States – Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan – July 25, 2021. Kevin Durant of the United States and Damian Lillard of the United States look dejected after the match with teammates REUTERS/Brian Snyder


The Tokyo Olympics were definitely a roller coaster ride for basketball fans. The NBA Finals had just gotten over and the unexpected Milwaukee Bucks had won their first title in 50 years. But fans couldn’t get enough of the game and thankfully, the Olympics were there to fulfill their cravings. However, Team USA had bad luck in the exhibition games that started a wave of panic among fans, who couldn’t believe this was a team that had won the gold the past three consecutive times. However, JaVale McGee still isn’t sure why fans lost any faith at all.

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Team USA was able to bag their for straight gold at the Olympic games this year. However, that might seem obvious to those who know what their roster looked like, but there was a little worry when they lost both their exhibition games, and even their first group match against France. It almost seemed like their medal was slipping away. But they did come back into form and ended up proving everybody wrong.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Basketball – Men – Group A – France v United States – Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan – July 25, 2021. Damian Lillard of the United States in action with Guerschon Yabusele of France REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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JaVale McGee and everyone on Team USA knew what they were capable of

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On Club Shay Shay, JaVale McGee opened up about how he felt when people didn’t believe in them anymore. He wanted to speak up initially but because he wasn’t there in the initial games, he felt like it wasn’t his place to do so. “Still, it was amazing to me that guys would have thought that guys with the caliber of KD, and Dame, and everybody who was on that squad that we were going to lose to another country.”

“It just didn’t make sense. But once they saw that first game, they were like ‘Oh yeah, we were right!’. They didn’t understand what it really takes to win out. I totally understand that we’re the best in the world. So, we knew what was going on. We knew what we had to do and we handled business,” concluded McGee.”

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Although McGee isn’t entirely wrong, fans had the right to doubt them. When a team that has Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Damian Lillard, and all the NBA’s best, loses to Nigeria and Argentina in exhibition games, that can be shrugged off. But losing an opener, that too against a team like France? That’s being a little too optimistic. Nevertheless, it eventually worked out and the USA is still holding that crown. All is well that ends well, right?

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Yashima Bhatia

1489 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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