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Americans revenge at the time of reunion with Gobert and the Blues


The pivot of Utah and the Blues, late in their preparation, launch their Olympic tournament against Kevin Durant et Cie. A major challenge.

From our special correspondent in Tokyo

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A match against the United States is always a separate match for the French.

For the Americans, too, this time.

They don't hide it.

These are only the first steps in the competition between two teams looking for each other but the face-to-face gives off a special atmosphere.

We have been preparing for two years for France.

I think about it every day

”, planted Greg Popovich, the coach of Team USA.

It's always good to take a punch in the face

Kevin Durant

If the archives recall that in 83 years, the American selection got the better of France 15 times (including 6 at the Olympics) in 19 matches, the last duel, a blue masterpiece in the quarterfinals of the World Cup (89-79) in 2019, had precipitated the worst ranking of an American team (7th) in an international competition. At the time of the reunion, the two teams advance on tiptoe. Team USA, which remains the favorite of bookmakers, has, in the preparation phase, recorded defeats against Nigeria and Australia and still does not know if it will have all its workforce (Zach La Vine, placed in Covid protocol, has joined the American team on Thursday; Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker were due, after the NBA Finals, to arrive in Tokyo on Saturday).

Kevin Durant, aware of the danger, the expectations and the status, recalled after a hectic preparation phase: “

It's always good to take a punch in the face to remind people that it will not be a piece of cake. All the teams want to beat us. Everyone wants to see us lose, so every game has a little more pressure.



The table of Olympic medals

Opposite, France suffers from a delay in preparation ("

We need time, competition

", repeats Vincent Collet, the national coach) because of the late arrivals after the NBA season of Rudy Gobert and Nicolas Batum, illustrated by three losses. The Olympic formula qualifying the first two (and the two best thirds) does not leave much margin for error. And if Vincent Collet has long played the second match against the Czech Republic, the key meeting (Iran is the last team in group A), the opening match, attractive, will be instructive: “

The start of the competition is always important. You have to have the right attitude, give yourself confidence, lay the foundations. We must not waste time, be in it right away

», Summarizes Evan Fournier.

They rightly consider themselves favorites

Rudy Gobert

Great architect of blue success in 2019 against the United States, Rudy Gobert assures us: “

It's a superb opportunity to see where we are.

We hope we will have the chance to meet again later in the competition.

It's a talented, well-coached team.

They have exceptional players, a lot of pride.

They will try to make an impression.

They rightly see themselves as the favorites.

This is the team with the most weapons.

They know that if they don't finish first, it will be a failure, especially after what happened during the World Cup…

”Nando de Colo continues:“

On paper, we have a more complete team than in 2019. There is a real desire. The team is very focused on the first game. With this format, there is no room for error. Whatever the outcome, the second game is going to be of great importance.


Vincent Collet has, beyond act 1 against the United States ("

we will have to bounce back in the next match

") eager to live "

a deadline eagerly awaited to take a step that we did not know overcome in the last two editions (elimination in the quarterfinals against Spain). The biggest regret I have since joining the France team is the London Games, we were very close to doing something very big. The hope, the dream, is to win a medal…

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-07-24

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