Russia, the 2012 Olympic men’s basketball bronze medalist and, as the Unified Team, the last team to beat the U.S. women’s basketball team at the Olympics, will send zero basketball teams to the Games for the first time since 1984.
Rio 2016 will mark the first Olympics in which Russia/Unified Team/Soviet Union has competed that it will have no basketball teams. The Soviets boycotted the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics.
The Russian men’s team was eliminated in group play at EuroBasket on Wednesday. The women’s team was eliminated at EuroBasket in June.
It used to be a basketball power. The Soviet Union won men’s basketball medals in all nine of its Olympic appearances from 1952 to 1988. The Unified Team women took gold in 1992, ousting the U.S. in the semifinals. The Russian women earned bronze in 2004 and 2008.
Russia’s men took bronze at the London 2012 Games, led by 2004 NBA All-Star Andrei Kirilenko and coached by David Blatt, who now coaches the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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