It is this Saturday, August 7 at 4:30 am that the French basketball team will play against the United States, the third Olympic final in its history. Against a sometimes feverish “Team USA”, the 2021 Blues will try to do better than the 2000s at the Sydney Olympics. Turn back.
October 1, 2000 at the Sydney SuperDome. The French basketball team, led by Jean-Pierre de Vincenzi, is preparing to play an Olympic final. The course was not easy for the Blues, who obtained their ticket to the quarterfinals with the difference in points with China.
After only eliminating Canada from Steve Nash (63-68), then Australia more easily in the semifinals (52-76), France knows its opponent: the United States, which came out of a trap against Lithuania, won by two small dots. (83-85).
Logically favorites, the Americans will nevertheless find themselves with a motivated and combative French team. If Team USA did not arrive with its stars (Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant or Allen Iverson), it still has players like Vince Carter, Ray Allen, Jason Kidd or even Kevin Garnett in its ranks. A lineup packed with NBA phenomena, unlike the Blues with no experience on the other side of the Atlantic right now.
If the first period is for the United States, (32-46) at the end of the first two quarters, the second will be tricolor. Led by a Laurent Sciarra, as always, dominant, the Blues will catch up. They are even four small points behind the United States four minutes from the end of the game, thanks to a long shot by Antoine Rigaudeau, legendary in French basketball history.
While the French seem to have the wind in their sails, the Americans will pose a real physical challenge to them. In fact, the pressure is intensifying and each bounce is a mission impossible. “We came out of the timeout and relaxed and minus four, we started again at minus ten,” Laurent Sciarra had confided into the RMC microphone. Trapped, the Blues will never come back to score and salute (75-85).
This defeat nevertheless remains a historic performance for the France team, which has not won an Olympic medal since then. In fact, the generation of Tony Parker and Boris Diaw has always fallen before the final. Therefore, it is up to the 2021 generation to take revenge on their parents and make history.