The coach of the United States basketball team, Mike Krzyzewski, has denied insinuations that his team arrived at the Basketball Arena of the London 2012 Olympics determined to humiliate Nigeria for being “loud-mouthed.”
The soft-spoken manager told the world media after the game which saw Nigeria’s D’Tigers badly beaten by 156-73 that what happened to Nigeria could have happened to any other team, given the performance his players put up.
He said, “It is wrong for anyone to say that it was a game plan to embarrass Nigeria because of the interest the game generated since the draw was made.
“The result turned out that way because of the shooting percentage we had on the night. We have never had it so good shooting and I am sure it is so for many teams across the world.
“Our shooting was incredible and we are surprised by what we achieved.
“It was just that Nigeria happened to be the team on ground the day we got it so right. If it was another team and we had this kind of shooting performance they could never have come near us.
“Indeed, it was a night of shots on both sides because the Nigerians were scoring highly too initially, with the difference coming more from the latter stages.
“We didn’t beat loser; the Nigerian team is a winning team also. They did not get to the Olympics by a wild card; they battled their way to this place from the Venezuela qualifiers which featured great teams from Europe.
“Yes, we came determined to win the game because any slip can be dangerous but it was a night that what we have always trained for worked perfectly.”
The match, which was highly publicised and followed by the widest audience since the basketball event started at London Olympics, set many records.
It produced the widest losing margin in Olympic history; the best scoring percentage ever for Team USA.
At the 2points range they hit 30/37 (scored 30 out of 37 attempts) and an incredible 29/46 in the 3pts range. Anthony Carmelo, who led the scoring on both sides with 37 points, hit 81% of field goals – 13/16 from the 2pt range and 10/13 for three-pointers.