Myles Turner isn’t in the mood for anyone’s guff right now.
The Indiana Pacers and U.S. men’s national basketball team center staunchly defended Team USA’s players Thursday following their 94-89 loss to Serbia in the fifth-eighth place semifinals of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Expectations already were low coming into the tournament due to the fact several NBA superstars withdrew from the team earlier this summer. However, Team USA failed to clear even that low bar, having clinched the country’s worst finish since the national team began using NBA players in 1992. Neverthless, Turner is sticking up for his teammates and coaches.
Critics have blasted Team USA since it fell to France on Wednesday in the quarterfinals. However the team fares Saturday against either Poland or the Czech Republic on Saturday in the seventh-place game won’t spare it from the harsh opinions of others.
Perhaps that’s why Turner already is on guard against “slander.” He has a good sense of how much more of it is on the way, and it probably won’t stop until another edition of Team USA redeems the failure of the last.
The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo can’t come soon enough.