Gregg Popovich has been heavily criticized for some of Team USA’s shortcomings since he took over as head coach, which is one of the reasons capturing a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics meant so much to him. Popovich made that clear while addressing the team after they defeated France.
Popovich delivered a fiery speech to Team USA after they won the gold medal. He spoke about how everyone criticized the team and appeared to tear up at one point. He ended with a line that whipped his players into a frenzy.
“I’d just like to say to all those people out there: How the f— you like us now?'” Popovich said.
We saw Kevin Durant and Draymond Green rip their critics in an Instagram live video immediately after winning the gold. Green later trolled Kendrick Perkins and other analysts who doubted him and his teammates. That mentality was clearly shared by Popovich and everyone else in the locker room. Perhaps it helped motivate the Americans to turn things around.
The United States racked up the most gold medals at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, as well as the most overall medals. The country can thank the two golf winners for adding to the gold medal total.
Xander Schauffele won the gold medal in men’s gold at the Olympics, while Nelly Korda came through to win the gold on the women’s side.
Schauffele gave Korda a nod by tweeting a photo of her on Saturday and commenting on her gold medal-winning pose.
Here’s the side-by-side of their photos:
Korda, 23, is asserting herself as the best female golfer in the world. She won the women’s PGA Championship this year and the gold medal, while being ranked No. 1 in the world.
As for Schauffele, he famously struggled to win a major. Maybe the gold medal win is the boost his golf career needed.
The US women’s indoor volleyball team won the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo with a 3-0 victory over Brazil in the finals on Saturday. Few people were happier about the win than Karch Kiraly.
Kiraly won three gold medals as a volleyball player. At Tokyo, he led the US women’s team to its first ever gold medal.
He said after their semifinals victory that he wanted them to experience the feeling of standing atop the podium after winning a gold medal.
They came through against Brazil, and Kiraly was unbelievably emotional.
That was beautiful. The women’s team was not the sharpest in the prelims, but then they rallied and dominated in the knockout stage, not dropping a set.
Kiraly has now been a key part of four gold medal wins in volleyball at the Olympics.
Gable Steveson pulled off an incredible comeback victory in his gold medal wrestling match on Friday at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He captured the sentiment perfectly via Twitter the following day.
Steveson was trailing Geno Petriashvili in their 125kg gold medal match 8-5 with 10 seconds left. Petriashvili was in defense mode, trying to tick off the remaining seconds. But Steveson kept working and was able to score two takedowns to come back and take a 9-8 lead. He won 10-8, gaining the final point on a challenge lost by the Georgian.
Here is what it looked like:
So what did Steveson have to say about it a day later?
He’s exactly right. That’s why you play to the final bell.
Now Steveson has some choices to make about his future. He can return to college, but he also has a likely future ahead in professional wrestling if he goes down that road. He definitely has one thing down: he is a showman.
Sydney McLaughlin had a pretty special day on Saturday.
Not only was she part of the US’ winning 4x400m relay team at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but she also celebrated her 22nd birthday. She reminded viewers of that in a cute video clip after the race:
In addition to the gold in the 4x400m relay, McLaughlin also won gold in the 4x400m hurdles at this Olympiad.
McLaughlin has a long way to go to catch Allyson Felix for the record of 11 track and field medals by a US Olympian, but two golds is a great start.
Team USA won the gold medals in both the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The margin of victory for the women was absolutely astounding.
The women dusted the field in their race and won by nearly four seconds. They posted a combined time of 3:16.85, while Poland’s time of 3:20.53 was good enough for silver.
Check out how far behind the pack was as Athing Mu crossed the finish line:
Mu had the fastest split on the team at 48.32 seconds. She also won gold in the 800m. Dalilah Muhammad, Allyson Felix and Sydney McLaughlin were the other runners on the team.
The gold medal from the relay gave Felix a total of 11 Olympic medals, more than any other US track and field athlete.
Most NBA players err on the side of caution when it comes to being less than 100 percent healthy and taking part in international competition, but Damian Lillard apparently was not concerned about that at the Tokyo Olympics.
Lillard played through an abdominal injury en route to helping Team USA win a gold medal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The injury will require further testing to determine the severity when Lillard returns home.
Lillard started and played 27 minutes in Team USA’s win over France on Saturday. He scored 11 points. The Portland Trail Blazers star had just five points in 17 minutes in the US’ semifinal win over Australia.
It would stand to reason that the injury is not that significant, as Lillard and Team USA probably would not have taken that big of a risk. However, it does speak to Lillard’s level of commitment in helping the team overcome their early struggles to win a gold medal.
Team USA’s fourth consecutive gold medal clearly meant a great deal to the players. That became clear with the way Kevin Durant and Draymond Green called out their critics after Saturday’s game (video here). Lillard was probably motivated to help his teammates silence the naysayers, even if he was a bit banged up while doing so.
France shocked many people when they defeated Team USA in the group stage at the Tokyo Olympics, but history did not repeat itself on Saturday. Team USA defeated France in the gold medal game despite their early struggles, and Rudy Gobert was clearly devastated.
Gobert sat with his head down for several moments after Team USA beat France 87-82. Evan Fournier went over to pick Gobert up, and the NBA Defensive Player of the Year appeared to be crying as he shook hands with Kevin Durant and others.
Gobert later congratulated Team USA on Twitter.
The silver medal for France was the team’s third overall at the Olympics. They have never won the gold, so you can understand why Gobert was emotional after coming so close. Of course, many fans took the opportunity to mock Gobert and bring up how he cried after his All-Star snub two years ago.
Team USA captured the gold despite falling to France earlier in the tournament and losing two exhibition games. Durant and Draymond Green were quick to call out their haters after the game.
Kevin Durant and Draymond Green have a complicated history, but the two NBA stars were quite pleased to come together in bashing their critics after Team USA won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.
Durant, who scored a game-high 29 points in the United States’ 87-72 win over France, got on Instagram live immediately after the game. He expressed disbelief that many analysts ranked Team USA as the fourth-best team in Tokyo. Green joined the video and called out Kendrick Perkins, who has been critical of Team USA in recent weeks like many others.
You can see the video below, but beware that it contains inappropriate language:
“They had some power rankings out, they had us fourth behind Slovenia,” Durant said. “Talking about (how) they’re catching up to us. Are you serious? This skill is unmatched.”
“Kendrick Perkins, you talk a lot of s—, a lot of s—,” Green added. “Act like you American.”
You can understand why the fourth consecutive gold medal for Team USA felt sweet for the players. They struggled early on and lost to France in the group stage, which led to them being ruthlessly mocked with Twitter memes. They also lost two exhibition games prior to the actual tournament, which had many anticipating an early exit in Tokyo.
It was noteworthy that Durant and Green gave the haters a shoutout together. Green and Durant have openly had issues with one another in the past, though Durant has since spoken highly of his former Golden State Warriors teammate. None of that drama mattered after Durant and Green helped Team USA silence the naysayers.
The US women’s national soccer team has continued its pattern of social justice displays during the Olympics despite the international competition’s rules against the practice. The team has stood for the playing of the national anthem before matches, but has later taken knees over racism.
Prior to the US’ bronze medal game on Thursday against Australia at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Carli Lloyd did not kneel.
Lloyd, along with Lindsey Horan and Julie Ertz, were among the few members of the team to stand for the national anthem during friendlies over the fall. Other members kneeled during the national anthem before later deciding in February to begin standing again.
Since the time Megan Rapinoe began kneeling in 2016, Lloyd expressed her opinion on the matter. She said at the time that while she supported Rapinoe, she found the situation to be distracting to the team. She felt the focus switched from the team and its performance to questions and topics about protests.
Lloyd and Rapinoe both scored two goals in the US’ 4-3 win over Australia. The bronze medal finish was a disappointing one for the team. Some feel the team’s core has just aged and it showed. Others feel that much like Lloyd said in the past, the team lacked focused due to an emphasis on political issues.