First lick wounds, then crown: Chancellor gives basketball players the bronze order

Dennis Schröder consoles himself with an NBA contract, the chancellor gives the bronze order: After the bitter semi-final defeat, the German basketball players can still fulfill their dream of the European Championship medal.

First lick wounds, then crown: Chancellor gives basketball players the bronze order

Dennis Schröder consoles himself with an NBA contract, the chancellor gives the bronze order: After the bitter semi-final defeat, the German basketball players can still fulfill their dream of the European Championship medal. Meanwhile, the national coach is still struggling with his decisions.

The order came from above. "Now get the bronze medal!", Chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted when leader Dennis Schröder and the German basketball players in the belly of the Berlin Arena were visibly gnawing at the missed gold chance. Dirk Nowitzki, who watched the bitter semifinals at the European Championships at home, also offered consolation: "Don't let your head down, boys! Get bronze!"

While some national players quarreled after the 91:96 (51:46) defeat against world champions Spain on Friday, Schröder went ahead and shook off the disappointment immediately. "Me as captain and the boys want to get a medal. We would make history," said the playmaker.

On Sunday (5.15 p.m./MagentaSport, RTL and in the live ticker on ntv.de) the Germans will fight for third place against Poland for bronze and the third European Championship medal after gold in 1993 and silver in 2005, a last showdown in this special tournament . "Anyone who has no motivation should not be here," said Schröder, who shone with 30 points against Spain. And then just announced his return to the Los Angeles Lakers on Instagram.

For one year and $2.6 million, ESPN and The Athletic reported, the 29-year-old signed with superstar LeBron James' NBA club, for whom he had already played in the 2020/21 season. Schröder's strong tournament performances have also paid off for him personally, after the point guard, who was previously without a club, had been repeatedly asked about his contract situation in recent weeks.

But the immediate future is called Poland. And for winning the first precious metal in 17 years, Schröder and Co. will certainly look at the final quarter against Spain again, in which they lost their place in the final. However, national coach Gordon Herbert felt responsible for the slump and put himself in front of his players. "I take the blame," said the Canadian on Saturday: "I let a few guys play too many minutes so we were tired in the final quarter."

The hosts could hardly control the outstanding Spanish playmaker Lorenzo Brown (29 points). "The Germans' wrists trembled at the end," wrote Marca: "Spain is doing the impossible. There is no wall in Berlin that can resist them." After the German bronze game, the successor generation of the legendary brothers Marc and Pau Gasol will go for gold against France on Sunday (8:30 p.m. / MagentaSport).

But what remains for basketball Germany after this EM? Definitely the best tournament performance since the Nowitzki era, new stars like NBA professional Franz Wagner, the memory of the great atmosphere in the preliminary round in Cologne and great victories like the quarter-final triumph against the Greeks around NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo . "It will certainly help German basketball to move forward," said Herbert.

The TV ratings speak for it. After 2.51 million viewers at the peak against Greece, up to 4.15 million tuned in to RTL in the semifinals - an average of 3.02 million. It is now necessary to conserve this effect somehow. The Bundesliga season begins on September 28th and in 2023 the World Cup will take place in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, for which Germany is almost qualified. But Herbert pushed all that aside: "I'm just looking at Sunday."

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