Two weeks ago, Team USA lost against France in their first game at the Tokyo Olympics. Last night, the Americans took revenge and won the gold medals with a score of 87-82.
Who is the true winner? In my opinion, Gregg Popovich.
There is not any doubt that Popovich is one of the greatest coaches in basketball history. He has proved this again and again during his tenure with San Antonio Spurs, winning five NBA titles and building one of the best franchises in the league.
However, his experience as the coach of the national team was not that good. The previous coach, Mike Krzyzewski, had huge success and led Team USA to three Olympic gold medals. When Gregg Popovich replaced him, everyone thought that the results will continue automatically.
Instead, Team USA finished in 7th place at the World Cup held by China in 2019. The Americans lost to France and Serbia in official games, but they also lost to Nigeria and other teams in friendly games.
More than that, there were reports which said that the players are unpleased with the way Popovich is coaching. However, in the end, Team USA won the gold medals, the coach kept faith in his players and redeemed himself.
Team USA is back where it belongs, and Popovich showed that he can lead the Americans to the first place.
*photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images