World reacts to Boomers’ historic win
Detractors will tell you it was just an exhibition match. That it didn't mean anything.
Even the Boomers will try to keep a lid on it.
But Saturday afternoon's historic 98-94 win over the visiting Team USA - the first time Australia has ever beaten a team from America - means something.
It signals to the world that Australia's men's basketball team can genuinely compete for a gold medal at the upcoming FIBA World Cup. And it will no doubt send shockwaves around America where losing is not something that is taken lightly.
This is how the world reacted to the Boomers first win against Team USA in 55 years.
COACHES AND PLAYERS
Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich began his post-match press conference with glowing praise for Australia and a not-so-subtle dig at Patty Mills.
"I want to start by congratulating the Boomers," he told reporters. "The Boomers were really great tonight. It's really a testament to how long they've stuck together to get this accomplished tonight.
"They were competitive, they executed really well … so that needs to be said. And, as I told you all after the last game, Patty's a pain in the ass."
Mills scored a game-high 30 points, including Australia's last 10 points in front of Popovich, who coaches him at the San Antonio Spurs.
Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis said it was important Australia didn't get too far ahead of itself with bigger goals to accomplish in China.
"So, obviously, it's part of the process that we don't get too high on the highs and too low on the lows. The pleasing thing is that we got better today."
The Boomers lost the first game of the two-game series 102-86 on Thursday night.
Mills spoke after the game about the history-making win.
"This is one step in our progress on our way to hopefully making history and winning a medal," he said.
Joe Ingles, who scored 15 points to go along with four rebounds and seven assists, said the win was not about Team USA at all.
"It's not really about them, we're glad they came out here and enjoyed the challenge, for us it's been about getting better and building towards the World Cup.
"It is up to us how we go from here we can keep building or think we're on top of the world after one win. We'll enjoy it tonight, it's obviously a good win for us"
Team USA point guard Kemba Walker gave the Australians credit for a gritty win.
"They played well, that's a really good team over there. They wanted it more than us tonight and lesson learned for us.
"We will learn from our mistakes - we are going to continue to get better, keep working, watch some film and get ready for the next game."
Andrew Bogut told reporters after the game that he never imagined being able to win against the Americans in his home town.
"Couldn't be prouder to be an Australian basketball player right now."
AMERICAN SPORTS WRITERS
The Boomers win is going to be fodder for those who make their money from writing about sports in the US.
Team USA was on a 78-game winning streak prior to their loss tonight to Australia.— Clevis Murray (@ClevisMurray) August 24, 2019
According to the @usabasketball website, the U.S. men have only lost one exhibition game in the professional era, that coming against Italy in Germany ahead of the 2004 Olympics: https://t.co/ftzw3OjgQg— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) August 24, 2019
Patty Mills with 30 (including 10 in a row late) as Australia gives Team USA its first loss in 13 years. The B-Team might not win the World Cup, guys. pic.twitter.com/nAlbMl18eu— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) August 24, 2019
So naturally Mills banks in a 3, then gets loose for three more buckets and scores Australia's final 10 points in a 98-94 victory. The challenge of putting together a team on the fly without most of its star power has never been more stark for @usabasketball— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 24, 2019
'NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE THE DAY'
Team USA has a habit of just finding a way to win against Australia. So even when the Boomers are up, true fans know it's not over until it's over.
Those on social media who have been waiting for today, celebrated.
The Australian men's basketball team just beat the US men's basketball team for the first time in 55 years and Patty Mills was the difference late. Bleeds green and gold. Unreal win. #BoomersUSA— jackson ryan 🙏 (@dctrjack) August 24, 2019
Australia beat the USA in men’s basketball. Extraordinary. 🙌🏻🙌🏻 #boomersusa— Shane Anderson (@Globalgallop) August 24, 2019
Congrats Aust Boomers. @andrewbogut & @Joeingles7 made great offensive decisions today. @Patty_Mills the finisher. Coaching staff did a great job of mixing up defensive disruption. Proud Aussie. #BoomersUSA— Dean Vickerman (@DeanVickerman) August 24, 2019
The Boomers win was met by loud cheers around Marvel Stadium where more than 52,000 people had turned out and crossed their fingers for a historic day.
When the final buzzer sounded, this is how the capacity crowd at Melbourne's Docklands reacted.
Patty Mills summed things up best after the game.
"We do it as teammates, we do it as best friends," he said.
"We've always been the underdogs. Hell of a group. We're trying to create history."
Mission accomplished. But more to come.
TEAM USA WORLD CUP ROSTER
The 12-man team hoping to claim another gold medal for the United States has been set after Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma returned home due to an ankle injury.
Kuzma's injury finalises the squad for the FIBA World Cup with four players from the Boston Celtics making the final cut.
Harris Barnes, Jaylen Brown, Joe Harris, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell, Mason Plumlee, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Myles Turner, Kemba Walker and Derrick White.