The U.S. men’s national team had its when it was eliminated by France on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup.
The Americans failed to win gold at a major international tournament for the first time in 13 summers. The best they can do now in China is finish fifth. The last time the U.S. did not medal was 2002 when it placed sixth.
There are ample reasons behind this major setback. Here’s a look at the five biggest:
Lack of commitment from top-tier talent. To say this was a B-list team would be an understatement. The list of players who either withdrew or declined invitations included James Harden, Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, and , among others.