Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton Emulate Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen After Team USA Wins Gold Medal at Tokyo Olympics

Published 08/07/2021, 12:59 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Basketball – Men – Gold medal match – France v United States – Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan – August 7, 2021. United States players celebrate after winning the gold medal match against France REUTERS/Brian Snyder


Team USA has won their 4th consecutive gold medal at the Olympics. They beat France by 5 points to ascend to the top of the podium. As Kevin Durant and his men kept the energy alive all game long, they won the game and are now Gold medalists.

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However, none of this would be possible without the teamwork of Team USA. After a disappointing start to the exhibitions and Olympics, they figured out how to win together as a team. It was once again a masterclass by Kevin Durant who scored 29 points in the gold medal game against France.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Basketball – Men – Gold medal match – France v United States – Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan – August 7, 2021. Kevin Durant of the United States in action with Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot of France and Rudy Gobert of France REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Speaking of teammates, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton have etched their names in the history books as teammates by winning the gold medal.

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Holiday and Middleton match Jordan-Pippen

Holiday and Middleton joined the elite company of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen as the first set of teammates to win an Olympic gold medal and NBA title in the same year. Jordan-Pippen did it in 1992 with the Chicago Bulls. And, Jrue and Khris won the NBA title only a month back with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Both of them joined Team USA only days after winning the NBA championship. Moreover, they played a crucial role in the USA’s triumph. Jrue Holiday made his mark in the gold medal game on both ends of the floor. He added 3 steals and 11 points in the encounter against France.

On the other hand, Khris Middleton could only add 4 points in 10 minutes of playing time. However, that does not take away from him having a successful tournament. It is a huge thing to join the Olympics after a hard-fought championship. Not only did these two do that, but they went on and helped their team win.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Basketball – Men – Gold medal match – France v United States – Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan – August 7, 2021. Kevin Durant of the United States celebrates after winning the gold medal match against France with Jrue Holiday of the United States REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Team USA march to glory

Team USA beat France 87-82 to win gold. The star of the show was Kevin Durant, who has his 4th consecutive 20+ point game in these Olympics. Apart from him, Jayson Tatum scored 19 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Dame struggled to start the game. But, he went on to add 11 points as well.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Basketball – Men – Gold medal match – France v United States – Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan – August 7, 2021. Damian Lillard of the United States reacts REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Defensively, it was Bam Adebayo who took over. He ended the game with 3 blocks and 1 steal to his name. For France, Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier each scored 16 points. However, Team USA was just the better team today, as France could not get back in the game after a quick lead in the opening minutes.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Basketball – Men – Gold medal match – France v United States – Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan – August 7, 2021. Rudy Gobert of France in action with Kevin Durant of the United States REUTERS/Sergio Perez

To sum it up, the USA has answered all critics by bringing the gold medal home and has kept the history of basketball going.

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Anuj Talwalkar

294 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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