It was supposed to be a time for celebration and relaxation. Team USA had just cruised to a record-setting 156-73 laugher over Nigeria, and preparing to take a day off.
Instead, coach K went on the offensive, angrily defending his squad from a reporter’s suggestion that they had tried to embarrass their opponents during the rout.
Per the NY Daily News:
A foreign reporter initially asked Nigeria coach Ayodele Bakare if he felt the Americans were guilty of running up the score. Bakare, though, sounded more impressed than angry by what the NBA players had accomplished. Moments later, Mike Krzyzewski, unsolicited, addressed the topic, and called the question offensive.
“We didn’t play LeBron [James] and Kobe [Bryant] in the second half, and with Carmelo (Anthony) shooting like that, we benched him,” Krzyzewski said after Carmelo Anthony scored a U.S. Olympic record of 37 points in 14 minutes and 29 seconds. “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 anymore.”
Coach K then turn to Bakare and said: “Coach would think it humiliating if we didn’t play hard.”
Some fans and media will try to turn this into a big story about the USA making a mockery of their foes, but that’s not the case at all. Aside from gunning for the 156 points late in the game after someone informed them that a record was within reach, the Americans simply played their game and ran the Nigerians off the floor (who seemed more impressed with the beatdown than angry.)
No shame in that … unless you’re on the losing end of the argument.