In the summer of 2021, the protagonists who moved many fans came together in the NBA team.
In the last 2021 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, the gold medal in basketball events went back to the United States as expected. The United States has competed in 19 Olympics and won gold medals 16 times. Excluding the 1972 Olympics and the 1988 Olympics, which did not have as much status as they do now, there was only one time that they failed to win a gold medal in the 2000s.
At the 2004 Olympics, the US Dream Team, led by coach Larry Brown, failed to win the gold medal after being beaten by Argentina in the semifinals. But other than that, it’s a gold medal.
*Shocking Defeat of the Dream Team* The
US national team will suffer a shocking defeat in the summer of 2021, and the world will be turned upside down.
A friendly match held on the eve of the Olympics on July 11, 2021.
The U.S. suffers a shock defeat to underdog Nigeria 87-90.
It has been since 1992 that NBA players have been on the national team. Since 1992, the United States has been 54-2 in practice games.
In international competitions, the Olympics, the Piva World Cup… They played countless matches, but suffered only 11 defeats in total. It was almost a one-hit defeat to the European powerhouses (Argentina, Spain, etc.).
It was the first time on this day that they lost to a team that was classified as a ‘weak’.
It was a shocking defeat. After the game, most of the basketball media focused on the US national team. We analyzed their power and evaluated their chances of winning.
However, little focus was placed on those who created miracles on the other side. It was the reality of an unpopular team.
They were cool, weak. The Olympics also finished in 10th place. But only one match they played. The win against the US Dream Team by pouring everything into it was very meaningful. Height and physical condition are absolute basketball events. Only tactics and fighting spirit overturned the absolute difference in skills and created the miracle of the underdog.
About a year and a half has passed since then.
The three people who wrote this underdog drama are coming together in the NBA and doing great things once again.
Nigerian national team coach Mike Brown showed great tactics, and KZ Okfala and Chimeji Metu played key players in the match against the United States. The trio meet at the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, struggling to break their team’s record of 16 consecutive seasons of not making the playoffs. The team performance is also very good. Today’s NBA Dive covers their story.
*Attack NO Fighting Spirit YES*
The secret to the unity of these trio is thanks to Mike Brown, the coach of the Nigerian team.
The final result ended in 10th place, but praise for Nigerian national team coach Mike Brown, who defeated the United States, continued even after the Olympics.
He is a veteran coach recognized by the NBA. He has a past where he coached LeBron James and the late Kobe Bryant in the NBA in the past. He boasts a considerable coaching career. Most recently he was the head coach at Golden State.
After coach Brown beat the US national team at the Olympics, his popularity in the coaching market increased considerably. If he was simply the head coach of winning team Golden State, it might not have been easy for him to return to the NBA manager’s job.
The Sacramento Kings club, which holds the record for the longest time out of the playoffs, is asking Brown for help. Sacramento’s managerial position, which has not been in the playoffs for 16 consecutive years, is quite burdensome. However, director Brown readily accepts the offer.
The leadership he shows in his first season is pretty amazing.
He wasn’t serious from the press conference. At the beginning of his tenure, during an interview at Media Day, he suddenly screamed in agony and made me feel that he was the owner of unusual tension.
He seemed to be paying attention not only to his simple tactics, such as bowling with off-season players, but also to the harmony of the team.
Ahead of the season, a major overhaul of the coaching staff was announced. Based on a wide network, a talented unknown coach (Jodi Fernandez) was blitzed as head coach, and a coach (Jay Triano) with as much leadership experience as Brown was brought in as the third coach in the team.
Then, his focus turns to the free agency market. He needed a few role players to round out the 15-man roster.
At that moment, Brown thinks of the players he played with in the Nigerian national team.
Coincidentally, Sacramento had Chimeji Metu, the Nigerian national team’s starting center. If it was an ordinary manager, it is highly likely that he would not have entered the plan for the next season. It is a big man, but the field goal rate in the 2021-2022 season was only 45.2%.
But Brown changed his mind.
Rather than cleaning up Metoo, they recruited another Nigerian player who had had success with themselves, and applied the fighting spirit that was the color of Nigeria to Sacramento.
It was interesting. Brown wasn’t even looking for an ace player like Gabe Vincent, the Nigerian team’s leading scorer.
‘KZ Okpala’ didn’t even have a team. He was a player who fit the picture Brown was pursuing. He was a good fighting spirit player who was good at rough work and could closely mark players in various positions.
Brown immediately recruited Okpala to Sacramento. At the same time, Metu, who was already on the team, is guaranteed a full-fledged opportunity.
Sacramento is starting to show off the colors of the Nigerian national team.
*The second miracle made in the NBA*
What about the results of this trio who have made miracles?
First of all, their team, Sacramento, is ranked 4th in the West as of the 12th (Korean time), and is reaping the most unexpected success among all NBA teams.
It is a pleasant reversal of a team that was expected to be in the lower ranks of the West before the season.
Coach Brown is giving the fallen ace De’Aaron Pax a chance to handle the ball again, and at the same time, he is well designing a two-man game using Domantas Sabonis.
* Club with the best team culture *
What Sacramento has changed the most this season is their team culture.
First of all, the harmony within the team stands out. Players encourage each other during the game, and talking, which is the key to defense, has noticeably improved. Coach Brown’s efforts to harmonize the off-season players are shining.
Many wonderful cultures are being installed.
Sacramento has traditionally been a weak defensive team. When Brown took office, the part he was most worried about was defense.
Coach Brown has created a unique team culture. At the locker room meeting after every game, he himself created a performance where he won the defense king of the day and put a huge gold necklace with the club logo on the player’s neck.
If you defend well that day, you’ll wear a beautiful gold chain with a giant club logo around your neck. The coaching staff applauds him, and his teammates go wild when the winner is announced.
As a result, considerable internal competition is unfolding internally at the Sacramento club to occupy this gold necklace. It is a positive competition. The players started to pay more attention to defense than to offense. This is the part that is directly related to sexuality.
There is another wonderful culture.
It’s called Light the beam. If Sacramento wins the game, the player with the most impressive performance of the day will be interviewed and given the right to press a button.
This button is connected to the exterior lights of Golden 1 Center, the home stadium. The lighting at the Golden 1 Center is famous for being the most splendid among the 30 clubs. When the interview is over, the player shouts “Light the beam!” with the club officials and presses the button, and the Golden 1 Center shines beautifully as if reminiscent of a club.
If you watch this scene at night, when it is time to go home after the game, it is evaluated that it is truly spectacular. The fact that the lights came on at the same time is also a sign that Sacramento has won.
In fact, fans are waiting in front of the Golden 1 Center after the victory to see this event in person. And when the beam is turned on, the fans go wild like a concert.
Thanks to Brown, who introduced a culture that is fan-friendly and can improve the team’s weaknesses, Sacramento is being reborn as a team with a better team culture than any other team. It is
*Perfect as a defensive specialist*
Then, what about the performance of the Nigerian players Brown recruited?
First of all, Metu, who was the main center of the Nigerian national team, has been reborn as the light and salt of the Sacramento team.
Metu was selected as a Distinguished Player on November 19th, and his status has risen to the point that he has personally played Light the Beam.
He is claiming to be the fighter most needed in Sacramento, which has been plagued by a sense of defeat due to its long playoff elimination. He brings a sense of toughness to his team, such as his refusal to back down during a battle of nerves against Kevin Durant against Brooklyn. 안전놀이터
Okpala is not given as much time as Metu. But when he gets his chance as a defensive specialist every once in a while, he does his job well.
The surface records of these players are by no means flashy. Compared to the record, the playing time is high. Some fans may question whether Brown is using them for national team kites, given only this fragmentary record.
That is, until you see this shocking metric.
Both players’ on-and-off defensive metrics are admirable. When Metoo plays, Sacramento’s defensive rating (the expected point allowed out of 100 offensive opportunities) drops by 5.1, and Okpala’s by a whopping 9.7.
Just like the Nigerian national team, these players give their all on defense among NBA players. This is the moment when Brown’s calculation hits the mark. Clearly, the player who led the Nigerian attack could have been an attractive option, but his focus was solely on commitment. And it works well.
only natural that grades will follow when you start with these details.
So, is Sacramento’s astounding rise due to Metoo and Okpala? It’s hard to see that. The ones who calmly built the biggest ball this season are Coach Brown and the ace one-two punchers De’Aaron Pax and Domantas Sabonis. Names such as Kevin Herder, who is being reborn as the best shooter, and dedicated defender Devion Mitchell, as well as veteran Harrison Barnes and rookie Keegan Murray, will be mentioned first. Compared to them, it is true that Metu and Okpala’s performance is relatively inferior.
But when you understand the Sacramento team, it’s definitely a storyline worth keeping an eye on.
An underdog team that captured the US Dream Team. The coach of that team becomes the NBA coach, and he calls in the best defense and fighting spirit from the national team and uses them as team rotation members. These players are producing great defensive metrics in the NBA as well.
The trio who created a miracle in the Olympics, they want to create another miracle in the NBA. After the 2005-2006 season, he played a big role in leading a team that had not made it to the playoffs for about 16 seasons to 4th in the West in the first half. It is a part that makes you wonder if they will show a good appearance in the second half and create another miracle.