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5 biggest upsets suffered by USA National basketball team in the 21st Century 

Arhaan Raje
ANALYST

#3 USA vs Yugoslavia 2002, FIBA Wolrd Championship

Team USA started with a 5-0 run in the 2002 FIBA World Championship, which was held in their own backyard in Indianapolis. After losing a game to a fairly competitive side in the form of Argentina, the Americans went on to lose two of their next three games in the tournament, subsequently failing to win a medal.

One of those losses came against Yugoslavia in the quarter-finals, a team that included NBA stars like Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic. Team USA lost the tie by three points (78-81) and fell into the classification round.

Reggie Miller, Paul Pierce, and Ben Wallace were some of the top NBA stars playing in that tournament as the U.S. could only finish sixth on home soil.


#2 USA vs Greece, 2006 FIBA World Championship

The 2006 FIBA World Championship offered the Americans a great chance to salvage some pride and clinch a gold medal after their dismal outing in the 2002 edition of the tournament.\.

They sent a young squad comprising LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and Carmelo Anthony, who were just making their way to stardom in the NBA. But they failed yet again, this time against a team that did not have any NBA players on their roster.

Team USA lost 95-101 to Greece in the quarter-final stage of the tournament. It was their first major tournament under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, though, as they went on to dominate, winning three straight Olympic gold medals starting with the 2008 Olympics.


#1 USA vs Puerto Rico, 2004 Olympics, Athens

After the FIBA World Championship debacle in 2002, the USA sent a strong squad headlined by Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson as the team's two leading players. 19-year-old LeBron James was also on that roster as one of the younger players to the 2004 Olympics.

The USA surprisingly lost by a whopping 19 points to Puerto Rico (73-92) in their opening game of that Olympic tournament. It was one of their worst losses ever, considering it came against a lowly ranked side and the margin of loss as well.

The US ended up clinching a podium spot nonetheless, winning the bronze medal.


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Edited by Parimal

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