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Watch the USA basketball team’s priceless reaction to New Zealand’s pregame dance

James Harden and Derrick Rose should just be happy they weren’t facing New Zealand’s rugby team.


Ikenna Anyoku

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 3, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 4:01 pm CDT

On Tuesday, the United States basketball team defeated New Zealand 98-71 in the Basketball World Cup, climbing to the top of their group with a 3-0 record. 

A surprising outcome, some may say, considering that before tipoff, the “Tall Blacks”—a nickname derived from New Zealand’s storied “All Blacks” rugby team—sought to strike fear into the hearts of Team USA by performing a haka, the traditional (sometimes war) dance of the Maori people. 

GIF via @BenGolliver

The reactions on the faces of the Americans are priceless.

While Derrick Rose and James Harden stood frozen in dread, Kenneth Faried raised a quivering eyebrow.


Despite the sheer terror of the scene, at least Team USA had the balls to stand and face their opponents. The same cannot be said of the Turkish team.

With the loss, New Zealand drops to fourth place in the group. The Americans should be ecstatic, not just because it improved their standing, but because it also decreases their chances of having to run into this again:


They should just be happy they weren’t facing New Zealand’s rugby team.

Photo via GAMEFACE-PHOTOS/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Sep 3, 2014, 5:14 pm CDT