Photo credit: FIBA/FIBA.com
"I said previously [that] if we were to have won this year, with all of the adversity that we went through, [that] this would be the sweetest of all of the [major] championships. And I [still] feel that way. The amazing thing about all that has happened is that we have used so many different players to win these championships, which is a testament to the game in our country and the depth of talent that we have. Tonight's performance was like a culmination of all of that development, because we have been waiting for a game where we just blow it out. And that's exactly what happened." - Jerry Colangelo, USAB Chairman, after Team USA's 129 - 92 victory over Serbia in the FIBA Championship Game.
So Team USA fought through injuries, doubt and haters to prove that they could come together and win it all in Spain. With U.S. basketball being called selfish, lacking in fundamental team skills and not having the dominant names of LeBron, Kobe or Carmelo, the team came together and demonstrated that their faith in each other, their desire to win it all and to prove the doubters wrong was stronger than any of the competitors that they faced as they moved through the FIBA World Cup this summer.
Brotherhood was the apparent theme for Team USA, especially with the loss of Paul George to a gruesome injury last month. As DeMarcus Cousins told ESPN- "We didn't care who we didn't have. We went with the guys we did have and came out champions."
Kyrie Irving, who scored 26 points on 10-13 shooting, added to his 2014 NBA All Star Game Award by taking home the 2014 FIBA World Cup MVP. The team leader added to the feeling of brotherhood stating- "It's the greatest feeling in the world right now, [winning] with a group of guys that are my brothers."
After winning every game by more than 20 points, Team USA was able to showcase the young and talented players from the NBA and was able to silence the critics who said that the current roster of players couldn't play together as a cohesive unit. Regardless of the competition, or lack thereof, Team USA accomplished what they set out to do, and they should be celebrated for bringing home another gold for the U.S.
Congrats to Team USA!