“Not Playing Against Just Amateurs”: Ray Allen Says Team USA Losing Pre-Olympic Exhibition Games Is Understandable

Published 07/14/2021, 6:17 AM EDT


Team USA bounced back from their exhibition losses as they defeated Argentina. In a dominating performance, Team USA won 108-80. This is a tremendous boost following the back-to-back losses prior to this game. The USA will now look for revenge as they play Australia again on July 16.

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There were huge concerns over Team USA when they lost back-to-back exhibition games. However, NBA champion Ray Allen thinks people are overreacting to these losses.

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Ray Allen says the playing field is now level

Olympic Gold medalist Ray Allen answered questions over Team USA losing back-to-back exhibition games. He explained that NBA stars now represent the other nations as well. So, it is now a more level playing field as opposed to the USA completely dominating the basketball world.

He said, “First I think we have to understand that we have held dominance in the game of basketball for so long, we kinda pushed our ego into USA basketball many years ago. We said we are gonna be the best and put the best out there. And, at the same time, the best traveled throughout the world and shown the world, the young people what NBA players look like. It set that tone and it gave kids the ability to want to aspire to be an NBA player.” 

Allen added, “Now you see the NBA, you see how many foreign players there are on rosters… So, we are no longer playing just against amateurs, now we are playing against other NBA players that are signing up for these national teams. So, the playing field is way more level than it used to be. We have to understand that and give credit to the way the game has grown.”

What Allen says makes sense, as most of the national team now consists of talented NBA players. While these players may not get their chance in the NBA, they possess a lot of talent. In addition, the competition has become much tougher with other countries growing significantly in basketball.

Team USA bounce back with dominating win

Team USA is back to winning ways as they won 108-80 over Argentina. Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal led the team in scoring as they added 17 points each. Bam Adebayo, who returned to the starting lineup had a great all-around game as he added 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block to USA. In addition, Damian Lillard and Zach Lavine combined for 28 points for Team USA.

For Argentina, 41 YO Luis Scola was the top performer as he scored 16 points. Nuggets guard, Facundo Campazzo added 12 points and 1 steal as the other notable performer for Argentina.

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Team USA will be relieved after securing this much-needed win and will look to continue this momentum as they take on Australia yet again. Do you think Team USA will get the better of Australia this time? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

127 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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