Friday, August 3rd, 2012 at 10:15 am  |  66 responses

Mike Krzyzewski Says Team USA Didn’t Try to Humiliate Nigeria in 83-Point Rout

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

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.

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  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    You play to win the game.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Now people will change their opinion on this team USA beating the original Dream Team. Like I have always stated in a seven game series. It could go 7 games, but I think the original Dream Team win series 4-2, because of their bigs. Even the original Dream Team playing all those countries before with no skill like today, could not beat a team this bad. GO USA!!!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    it would just be disrespectful towards their opponent if the us boys wouldnt play their a game. if i was on team nigeria and realize the us players would hold back to not emberass me i would really feel offended and not respected as an athlete. at some point nigeria stopped to compete on defense, so i think alot of this 80 point + differential came also due to weak d which is not only a matter of class, tecnique and conditioning, its also a bit about attitude.

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    Stupid reporter.
    He should look at the olympic oath.
    You should always compete at your personal best.

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    That’s like asking an elite swimmer to slow down, so that a competitor that is slower doesn’t feel humiliated.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Nigeria employed possibly the worst defensive scheme of all-time. Those cats didn’t even bother to run the US off the 3pt line and it seemed like they sent everyone to the boards leading to numerous fastbreak attempts for the US.
    I don’t think we will ever see a team shoot like that again, at least not in my lifetime.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    From Wikipedia (don’t judge): “In professional soccer, the concept of “running up the score” is basically unheard of; many professional association football competitions use goal difference or goal average as a tiebreaker, meaning it is preferable to win by as wide a margin of victory as possible. Furthermore, it is doubtful that a team on the receiving end of a ten-goal defeat would ever accuse their opponents of unsporting behavior or a lack of respect; indeed, in European association football, a strong team choosing to field star players against lesser opposition is generally seen as a mark of respect, rather than of disrespect. In fact, if a European team, leading by several goals late in the game, made an American football-style attempt to show good sportsmanship by easing off, bringing on several lesser-known substitutes and retaining possession in order to kill the clock, this would be seen as deeply unsporting and would probably provoke a hostile reaction quite opposite to the intended effect.”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    37 pts in 14 1/2 minutes?!?!

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @L.E. Didn’t that sort of happen to Usain Bolt? He noticed he was way ahead of the crowd and everyone was calling him out on it. lol. The moral of th story, people like complaining.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Exactly niQ people just need something to b*tch about.


    im so thankful i catch this game online. the 3rd q was just bananas. im not usually a big Melo fan but 10-12 from downtown is ridiculous

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    What did reporters expect? Did the want them to only shoot from 1/2 court as soon as they got a comfortable lead? It’s not like the were pushing the ball every posession and playing full court press. As someone who’s been on the losing end of a blowout, it’s even more insulting to have a team stop trying at the end of a game. It’s one thing to slow things down and not push it, but to stop trying all together is an insult.

  • Gogs

    To be fair they were booed any time they tried to slow the game down. The Nigerians didn’t really pressure on Defence and it almost looked harder not to score in the second half.

  • bike

    Culture may play a factor. The Nigerians genuinely didn’t seem upset nor did they complain. Other countries may not view that big of a beat down as humiliating. They may very well view it as impressive. Now, you do that kind of thing in a high school game in this country and all hell will be raised.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Nigeria obviously tanked to get a better draft pick for the next olympics.

  • P

    Bolt certainly did not slow down because he was afraid of humiliating his opponents. He did it because he’s THAT guy.

  • jinolin

    So who get the “best scorer in the world” nod?
    KD, Melo, Mamba(I know hes past his prime, but so I keep Laker Nation happy)?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    in team usa it is obviously melo. but thats just because of his role.durant could easily the same thing. and i think in especially against this nigerian defense even tyson chandler couldve looked like the worlds best offensive force if the usa wouldve played through him as their first option. 10-12 from downtown is still impressive tho. most shooters have worse percentages from downtown at the three point shootout

  • Dirtybird

    lol NBK.

  • MeloMan15

    So melo has a record breaking performance and doesn’t even get an article? 37 points, 10 threes in 14 minutes?!?! If Lebron, Kobe, or Durant had done that there would be getting way more love

  • James Aka…

    It depends on what it looked like. If it was like the rookie softmore game and ludicrous alleyoops are being thrown, then thats unsportsmanlike, but if it’s just they execute plays and get easy looks all game long and hit them, it’s fair competition. It sounds like they just met an overmatched opponent.

  • pposse

    USA was shooting lights out from 3. At the beginning of the 3rd quarter melo had like 22 points, but then splashed atleast 4 three pointers in a row if not more. And then all of a sudden Iggy hit like 3 more 3 pointers in a row. And then Westbrook started draining them. The whole squad was just on fire from 3. Then in the fourth K Love went off from the 3, it was craaaazy.

  • crooklyn

    Most sports reporters are worthless pieces of trash, they make their living taking up the best seats in the house and still find a way to complain. These jerks write about other people for a living, which doesn’t say much about their lives, and they act more qualified than the gm’s, players, agents, coaches etc. and all this with a lousy degree in journalism, if they even have that. Shout out to all the other reporters/writers who choose to inform the public rather than shoot people down all day

  • crooklyn

    oh yeah i’m from nyc the home of the biggest jerk sports reporters you will ever find. They come off as tabloid writers talking crap about everyone and everything except the game. The original fair weather “fans”

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Melo actually had 33 points in 12 minutes for the Nuggets one time, which was ridiculous!
    But last night takes the cake…

  • http://nba.com GP23

    But no way was that “humiliating” Nigeria. If anything, it would be way more disrespectful if USA didn’t take the game seriously and played lazy, with the “We have already won this game” attitude.

  • pposse

    lebron and kobe didn’t even play the second half.

  • LA Huey

    They humiliated themselves with that sorry excuse for a national team.

  • MissJackieM

    Although the score was insane,I still found the game entertaining. Congrats,fellas.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Crazy stat: If USA failed to score a single point in the second half.. they still woulda won by 5 !!

  • CDa Tyrant

    They were just simply outclassed. The f u expect from a first time Olympic bball team in Nigeria?

  • Heals

    @MissJM, yeah especially the 1st and 3rd quarters. @GP, the box score will be giving stat geeks wet dreams for years; just so many interesting ways to break it down…

  • coachkayrat

    As soon as I say Al-Faruq Aminu in the starting line-up for an olympic basketball team I said to my girlfriend, “The US could win this game by 80 points easily.”

  • MeloMan15

    @GP23: that melo 33 pts in a quarter goes unnoticed as well

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    That ‘sorry excuse for a national team’ made it to the last world championships, then assembled the current team hastily and beat Greece in the Olympic qualifier to make it to London. A tournament with only 12 nations taking part. Sorry excuse, eh? Not every country has the luxury of picking players out of the Nba Superstar pool
    1st participation in the olympic bball tournament, EVER. If u knew anything about Sports in Africa or Nigeria to be specific, u wouldn’t be so dismissive. We are usually known for our soccer teams, not basketball.
    Team USA played beyond world class, the Eagles are still raw on the world stage, bad loss, moving on.


    i know it says team Nigeria but 9 of the 12 players were born in the states. they also scored more points on the U.S. then either France Tunisia. but absolutely no excuses for that horrendous D.

  • Reggie35

    If you sit your best players and play a zone for large periods of time there’s no way you can be “running up the score”

  • robb

    Actually it’s disrespectful to your opponent if you don’t go out and play hard.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk Troll

    What do you do when people start to doubt your ability….. YOU MAKE HISTORY!!! MELO is that MAN. This years team + Dwight & D.Rose would Smash the dream team. Dream team was Jordan, a old larry bird and magic, and a bunch of other greats who lived in MJ’s Shadow. This team has 4 guys who are on Jordans level.

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk Troll

    ^Kobe(not old MJ was still winning rings @ same age,) Lebron, MELO, DURANT.(ALL CAPS FOR THE MD BOYS…FUXK TORONTO)

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Kobe is older than magic was on the dream team dummy

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Melo is on Jordan’s level? Oh lawd

  • http://nba.com GP23

    ^ lol


    4 guys on jordan’s level? stop smoking crack & get your own name

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Y’all are seriously giving a dude who’s handle is “nbk Troll” the benefit of a response to his asinine statements?

  • http://slamonline.com gab

    Dam Melo dropping 37 was probably awesome live. But NBC don’t be showing love to the mens team tho. whats up with that?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I was honestly thinking of doing crack tonight until I read what nbk troll’s brain was farting out. No crack for me no more.

  • dev0

    Would have been even more embarassing if the Americans had gone easy on them

  • Brahsef

    Mmm crack

  • BallsDeep

    Isn’t it only two halves?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Melo goes off sometimes like this. Best scorer on the planet, has been for a min. .. Sup fools

  • BallsDeep

    Nope. New rules. Sorry fellers. Downloading now… can’t wait to watch. Soon, soon. Want to see somebody do something in these Olympics!

  • http://Slamonline.com IMPALA T

    Next thing you know stern will be imposing on a mercy rule for his world cup

  • Otero

    All the games are live on NBC sports network men’s and women’s channel 603 DirecTv

  • http://Slamonline.com Black Mamba

    Melo is not on Jordan’s level. He certainly was against Nigeria though

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Tarzan The G.O.A.T.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    Melo’s scoring efficiency, dominant defense, uncanny court vision and relentless leadership obviously make him the GOAT.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    just watching lit vs usa and guys, watching intermnational bball is just so much better than watching nba bball for one reason: i forgot how much of a pleasure it is to watch a professional bball game without all these unnecessary timeouts every 2 minutes so that all the fatties can refiill their pocorn and coke and the tv stations can broadcast commercial after commercial for products that nobody actually needs lol

  • the box out of

    Kudos to the USa team for surviving a 99-94 scare from Lithuania. LTU lead 73-72 half-way into the 4th qtr. I told you so. Big hole in the middle. its as is anytime can score at will inside against US. they attack the middle effortlessly needing only one shot per play while USa gets tentative and settles for 3 pts shots on the other end if not for lebron getting it done attacking the rim frequently. Also Urant spelled witout D. melo has better interior def(yeah i said it) esp. in rebounding.Durant is just to afraid to challenge inside shots and donet even wanna give up fouls. US offense is like watching SSOL of d’antoni olympic version.

  • http://www.xvideos.com nbk troll

    Melo certainly is on jordans level, not better or as good but on his level. Melo is better than drexler barkley Dominiqe stockton and a bunch of other legends. Stop HaTiN on the boy

  • jomomma

    troll should be banned for comparing carmelo with anyone other than the black hole vinnie johnson…



  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    That’s stupid talk. Absolutely stupid.

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    So what if they did?

  • http://slamonline.com ben

    USA played hard cos nigiria had 9 born american players and they thought that they were gonna bring it.so they came and played hard which nigiria dint see coming.

  • jomomma

    u guys are nuts man
    defense wins championships
    kobe couldnt beat michael
    nobody up front could match up against chuck or karl
    please tell me which point guard is gona stop magic in the post lol
    who is going to guard larry?
    what if patrick and david are both in at same time
    where is TIM DUNCAN?
    they will LOSE to ARGENTINA
    when it comes down to it basketball is won by only a couple players
    and international basketball is MANUS game
    ginobli and scola will win GOLD
    nobody on team usa is as good as #manuginobli
    nobody has more titles

  • jomomma

    manu has 6 title
    3 nba
    1 euroleague
    1 triple crown
    and 1 gold medal
    shaq gave kobe 3
    nash will give him one more
    manu will dominate kobe and lebron