clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You Tube Gold: When Coach K’s US Team Encountered The Haka

A wonderful moment in the history of USA Basketball

 New Zealand’s team performs a Haka before the 2014 FIBA World basketball championships group C match USA vs New Zealand at the Bizkaia Arena in Bilbao on September 2, 2014. 
Photo credit should read RAFA RIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

There were some amazing moments during Coach K’s time running USA Basketball’s senior team but for our money, one of the best, and certainly the funniest, came in 2014 during the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The US was playing New Zealand and you can tell from this video - pretty much immediately - that a lot of the US players had no idea what a haka was.

For those who may not know, the haka is a challenge dance that came from the Maori people. New Zealand sports teams adopted it late in the 19th century and at this point, almost all New Zealand teams use it in international competitions.

The All Blacks, the national rugby team, toured the UK in 1905 and began to do a haka before games which must have come as quite a surprise for the fans.

The Tall Blacks, New Zealand’s national basketball team, also picked it up as the US learned in 2014.

The camera here focuses on Derrick Rose, Kenneth Faried and James Harden, and, well you have to see it. The faces are amazing.

It didn't matter in the end. The US won 98-71.

Still, the haka, and the US reaction, were absolute highlights of this game.