August 27, 2004, Argentina defeated Team USA in the semi-finals of the Olympic Games!

A look back at one of the biggest Olympic surprises of the 21st century. In 2004, the United States did not arrive confident in Athens after the debacle of the world championships at home in 2002, but they remained on three victorious Olympiads. They arrive in Greece with an exciting mix of stars from the 90s and 2000s with Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Amar’e Stoudemire…

Larry Brown’s men suffered the biggest defeat in the history of the selection against Puerto Rico, then a second against Lithuania, but they still managed to qualify for the semi-finals.

A vengeful Argentina then stands before them: the South Americans promised themselves two years earlier, after a memorable meal, to win the Games after a defeat in extremis in the World Cup final against Yugoslavia. ” When this dinner started, we were at rock bottom Luis Scola told ESPN. ” But in the end it was a party. »

A pivotal scene attended by the former General Manager of Spurs, RC Buford, seated a few tables further. “JI just watched them: it was the best group atmosphere I’ve ever seen. »

“You can’t walk into a basketball game and believe you’re going to win just because you have ‘USA’ on your chest”

At the time, Carlos Delfino, Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and Andrés Nocioni were the leaders of the team, and their enthusiasm made them the darlings of the public. On arrival, Argentina wins 89-81 with 29 points from only “El Manu” to deprive Team USA of gold.

Whenever we were in trouble, we just passed the ball to Manu in the middle of the field recalls Fabricio Oberto. ” It was our solution. »

A paying solution in the face of powerless Americans, whose state of mind Allen Iverson sums up very well… “ You can’t walk into a basketball game and believe you’re gonna win just because you have “USA” on your chest.,” regretted “The Answer” after the half. ” It means a lot for the other teams to get a medal. We gave our all, but we couldn’t do anything. They were better than us. »

Four years later, Coach K. took over from Larry Brown, and all the superstars are there to restore the image of the United States with the “Redeem Team” mission. Kobe Bryant agrees, and in his wake, Team USA arrives in Beijing with one of its best teams in its history. Since then, they have won four Olympiads in a row…

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