2021 NBA champion Jrue Holiday basically told his haters to be quiet after Team USA’s horrible 83-76 loss against France on Sunday. After a massive third quarter collapse, the star-studded 12-man roster fell short against Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert, and the rest of the tough French squad in the opening game of the basketball tournament’s group stage.
When asked what the team needed to do to get back on track, Holiday had quite a simple response:
Fresh from his 2021 NBA Finals stint, the 31-year-old just arrived in Tokyo a little over a day before their game against France tipped off. Though a bit jetlagged, Holiday brought his championship swagger with him and was a huge piece for Gregg Popovich’s line-up despite the loss.
“This is the first time I’ve been on this stage; you always want to make an impression. I just came out and played as hard as I can. We had a chance… France is a good team. They play very, very well together. They were consistent throughout the whole game.” Holiday added.
After controlling the game in the first half led by Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard, the aggressive French unit got back into the game in the third quarter with a huge run and basically stunned Team USA until the final buzzer. Fournier, the Boston Celtics swingman, dropped a game-high of 28 points to lead France to a huge statement win.
“We have to keep going; we have to break that barrier. I’m very positive about tonight. France is a good team. I feel we’re getting better every game.” said Holiday.
Team USA still has two more group stage matches against Iran and the Czech Republic coming up. They just need to finish at the top-2 of their group to advance to the next round.