Team USA's Basketball Defeat to Australia Sparks Avalanche of Memes, Jokes

The USA basketball team is being mocked on social media after the world's No. 1 team lost two exhibition matches in a row, to Nigeria and Australia.

Team USA first lost to Nigeria, the 22nd-ranked team in the world, on Saturday in a pre-Olympics exhibition match in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Nigeria won the match 90-87 against a star-studded US team including prominent players Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant and Bam Adebayo, in what was the American team's first ever loss to an African side.

Team USA is competing in several exhibition matches as it prepares to attempt to win the gold medal in the competition for the fourth time in a row and 16th time in its history.

The US attempted to rebound from the shock defeat to Nigeria in an exhibition game against Australia on Monday night, but lost as the third-ranked side in the world won 91-83, prompting the players to be booed off the court.

Australia beats Team USA in basketball match
Australia's Nick Kay, left, and United States' Bradley Beal battle for a rebound during an exhibition basketball game Monday, July 12, 2021, in Las Vegas. AP

Following the second defeat in as many days, U.S. coach Gregg Popovich told ESPN that: "I thought we got better tonight," but he admitted that "the first half and the second half were two different beasts," saying that his team "tired out" as the match went on.

Although Australia are the third-ranked team in the world, their victory was a shock, prompting social media users to mock the U.S. side for its pre-Olympics form.

Fantasy sports brand Draft Kings posted a photo of Marvel superhero Captain America next to his much-mocked replacement John Walker, played by Wyatt Russell in the show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

The Team USA we expected vs the Team USA currently:

— DraftKings (@DraftKings) July 13, 2021

The account captioned the tweet: "The Team USA we expected vs the Team USA currently," as Draft kings writer Emerson Lotzia Jr. jokingly replied: "Whomever made this I will Venmo $2 thank you."

Nigeria Basketball's official Twitter account also responded to the result on Monday evening, writing: "@BasketballAus Welcome," as it posted a short clip of former University of North Carolina coach Roy Williams dancing as he entered the team's changing room after a victory against rivals Duke University.

.@BasketballAus Welcome.

— D’Tigers | Nigeria Basketball (@NigeriaBasket) July 13, 2021

In a follow-up tweet after the original post was widely shared on the social media platform, Nigeria Basketball wrote: "Twitter was made to have fun," and posted a gif of a child smirking into the camera.

The Nigeria team's account has gained followers since its victory on Saturday, and after another win on Monday against Argentina, it tweeted: "They will respect Nigeria," and added: "Beat the No. 1 team in the world. Beat the No. 4 team in the world. Just getting started."

Barstool Sports responded to the Australia win on Monday by saying that the US team with "real NBA players and everything embarrassed everyone in the country tonight."

Team USA needs to start chasing some wins. #usabasketball

— Damon Bruce (@DamonBruce) July 13, 2021

Several Twitter users joked that Team USA and Brooklyn Nets player Kevin Durant would be joining the Australian side following the defeat.

While San Francisco based radio presenter Damon Bruce wrote: "Team USA needs to start chasing some wins," and posted a gif of Oprah Winfrey shouting "Loser! Loser!"

Team USA won't have long to ruminate on the two losses, however, as it plays again tonight in Las Vegas against Argentina, before once again facing Australia on Friday and the second-ranked team in the world, Spain, on Sunday.

Speaking to ESPN after Monday's game, Portland Trail Blazer and Team USA star Damian Lillard said that there was no need for the team to panic, explaining that "it's not the first time that I've seen Team USA be tested."

Nigeria and USA basketball match
Caleb Agada #3 of Nigeria fouls Kevin Durant #7 of the United States as Miye Oni #13 of Nigeria defends, during an exhibition game at the Michelob ULTRA Arena ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 10, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nigeria defeated the USA 90-87 on Saturday. Ethan Miller/Getty Images