The United States men's basketball team routed Nigeria 156-73 on Thursday in a record-breaking performance. But head coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn't pleased when asked if the team had run up the score.
Krzyzewski responded with this:
"We didn't play LeBron (James) and Kobe (Bryant) in the second half, and with Carmelo (Anthony) shooting like that, we benched him. 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.
"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."
Krzyzewski then nodded towards Nigerian coach Ayodele Bakare and claimed he would find it humiliating if the U.S. hadn't played hard.
I find myself in the awkward position of defending Coach K right now, but he's right. Anyone who watched that game should know that there was no way it was going to be close. I mean, Anthony scored 37 points and he only played 14 minutes.
I'm not sure what the reported expected when Team USA put its All-Star team on the floor against a Nigerian team led by the likes of Ike Diogu and Al-Farouq Aminu.
The suggestion that the U.S. should just stop playing and essentially not try to at least play the game against its opponents is ridiculous. This team is just so good that when it is clicking on all cylinders, it will blow out anyone in its path.
Photo: Garrett Ellwood/National Basketball/Getty Images
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