Basketball is a game of skill, precision, and endurance, not genetics. There are those who tend to adhere to the stereotype that black men are just better at basketball than everyone else. Somehow, the idea that the skills required for basketball are just evenly distributed throughout all black men has taken hold, mainly because most American professional ballers are black. But the defeat the Nigerian team was handed at the hands of Team U.S.A. should help put an end to that old and tired stereotype.
Team U.S.A. delivered the most devastating blow to Nigeria in the history of Olympic basketball, defeating them 156-73. The previous record was 138 points scored by Brazil in 1988.
USA coach Mike Krzyzewski scoffed at the suggestion that the American team had gone to far in embarrassing the weak Nigerian program.
“We didn’t play LeBron [James] and Kobe [Bryant] in the second half, and with Carmelo shooting like that, we benched him,” Krzyzewski said. “We didn’t take any fast breaks in the fourth quarter, and we played all zone. You have to take a shot every 24 seconds, and the shots we took happened to be hit.
He continued, “I take offense to this question because there’s no way in the world that our program in the United States sets out to humiliate anyone.”
To give you an idea of how awful the thrashing was, consider that Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points in just 14 minutes.
The Nigerian team was just no match for Team U.S.A. The U.S. had scored 49 points after a quarter, 78 at halftime, and at a certain point, the Nigerian team just gave up.
“On the one side, it’s terrible to get whupped like that,” Nigeria’s Koko Archibong said. “But on the other side, it was something impressive to be a part of – impressive to witness in person.”