The biggest surprise about the U.S. victory over France in Olympics men’s basketball Sunday was that the winners were able to celebrate with Michelle Obama. The first lady had a front-row seat at the game, and, after an uneven first quarter, she was able to see the team improve its play en route to a 98-71 victory.
France has NBA players such as Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum, but it was simply outmatched by the U.S., the favorite to win the gold medal. Superstars LeBron James and Kevin Durant, in particular, were too much for the French. James finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, and eight assists, while Durant scored 22 points on the way to the win, according to USA Today.
Kevin Love chipped in 14 points as a reserve, and Carmelo Anthony helped with nine points and nine rebounds. Kobe Bryant began what could be his last Olympic Games with a 10-point performance.The Americans outrebounded the French by a 56-40 margin, but they admitted there were still holes in their game.
Like the U.S. women Saturday, the men won their first basketball game by relying on their sheer advantage in talent, but they will have to get better if they want to win the gold medal again.The U.S. team got into foul trouble during the first half, as they committed 26 fouls. Still, the Americans coasted into halftime with a 52-26 lead.
After the victory, Michelle Obama congratulated each member of the team with a big hug. Even though Obama stands 5 feet 11 inches tall, she looked tiny next to players such as the 6-9 Durant and the 6-8 James.
Obama is from a basketball family, and the president is known for his love of the game (especially the Chicago Bulls). People has reported that the first lady’s brother was a star basketball player during his time at Princeton University.
The U.S. squad’s next game will be against Tunisia Tuesday.