Los Angeles Lakers legends Shaquille O’Neal and Magic Johnson reacted to Team USA’s loss to Germany in the semifinals of the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Team USA ended up losing 113-111 to Germany, and the team will now face Canada in the third-place game.
After trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter, Team USA made a run to make it a one-possession game, but a crucial turnover by Anthony Edwards ended up dooming the team’s comeback attempt.
Johnson posted on social media that he was disappointed by the team’s loss.
Just watched the USA Men’s basketball team play Germany in the FIBA World Cup and I was very disappointed we loss 111-113. Now instead of playing for Gold we will be playing for Bronze.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 8, 2023
O’Neal took to Instagram to share his thoughts on Team USA coming up short.
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Pau Gasol said he was “amazed” by the semifinals he witnessed on Friday.
Intense but wonderful day! Still amazed by the great semifinals we witnessed tonight in Manila! 🤯 Congrats to Serbia and Germany for advancing to the #FIBAWC final! 🏆🌎 #WinForAll pic.twitter.com/XPvKl6cgqi
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) September 8, 2023
The loss to Germany is the second that Team USA has suffered at the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The team also lost to Lithuania prior to making it to the quarterfinals.
The team did have some impressive wins, blowing out Italy 100-63 in the quarterfinals, but it couldn’t win on Friday to compete for a gold medal. Instead, Germany will take on Serbia in the 2023 FIBA World Cup title game.
Lakers guard Austin Reaves is one of the members of the Team USA squad, and he was equally disappointed in the outcome of Friday’s matchup.
Reaves had a good game on Friday, scoring 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. He made four of his five shots from beyond the arc in the loss.
While the 2023 FIBA World Cup is certainly important, Team USA’s focus can now turn to the 2024 Olympics.
The United States has won gold medals in basketball in four straight Olympics, dating back to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. It’s possible that the team will have even more star power on the Olympic team next summer than it had on the team for this year’s World Cup.
Team USA’s third-place game against Canada should be a fun contest, as there will be NBA talent on both sides. Canada has some star power with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dillon Brooks and RJ Barrett on the roster.
Hopefully, Team USA can capture the bronze medal in that game. Even if it does, it’s safe to say that Johnson and O’Neal still won’t be too happy.