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The Basketball History's Corner: USA - USSR 1972 FINAL

01/06/16

The Basketball History's Corner: USA - USSR 1972 FINAL

The Basketball History's Corner:
The 1972 Olympics USA - USSR Basketball FINAL

The 1972 Olympics marked the first time that the United States did not win the gold medal in Olympic basketball since the sport's introduction as an official medal event at the 1936 Summer Olympics.

The gold medal game between the United States and Soviet Union remains very controversial to this day. The Soviets had a 49-48 lead and committed a hard foul on Doug Collins with three seconds left. Collins made two free throws to put the U.S. up 50-49, and the Soviets inbounded the ball quickly. Referee Renaldo Righetto of Brazil stopped play with one second on the clock. USSR coach Vladimir Kondrashkin had attempted to call time out between Collins' free throws and it was awarded.

The inbounds pass was intercepted and the United States players and coaches celebrated their victory. But the head of the FIBA Renato William Jones ordered that the clock be reset to three seconds, the time that was on the clock when Kondrashkin tried to call time. The Soviets inbounded the ball for a third time, and this time, Alexander Belov scored a lay-up and the USSR won the game 51-50, which not only meant that they got the gold medal, but they also dealt the United States their first loss in Olympic basketball competition.

The members of the United States team have remained upset of the outcome of the game ever since. They refused to accept the Olympic silver medal during the medal ceremony, and on an appeal, the five-judge appeal panel had judges from the USSR, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Italy and Romania. The vote was 3-2 to reject the appeal.








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