BARCELONA — If the gold medal match was being played Sunday, Team USA would not beat Spain. It wouldn’t even be close. But the gold medal game is not this Sunday. It is next Sunday. And a lot can change in a week. So the burden is on coach Mike Krzyzewski: Figure out who is going to give you the best chance to beat the host nation, start shortening up the rotation, and hope that in one week you can achieve what it
Team USA had nothing to play for, and it showed. The Americans already had clinched Group C at the FIBA World Cup by winning their first four games. While other countries jockeyed to get into the knockout stage – or avoid certain opponents – Team USA was on cruise control in Friday’s game vs. war-torn Ukraine. The United States was playing for the fifth time in six nights and had a start time four hours earlier than Thursday. The combination of apathy
The debate over whether Derrick Rose should be playing for Team USA is behind us. Clearly he is not yet himself, and clearly he is using the FIBA World Cup to get himself back into playing shape so he has a running start when the Chicago Bulls’ NBA season begins. A big test is coming Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday as Team USA plays on three consecutive nights. We will have a much bigger body of work to judge him on when those three days
We will spare you too many of the gory details of Team USA’s massacre of Finland. Here’s all you need to know: The Finns were 0-for-17 from the field in the second quarter. If you watched the entire game, congratulations. You have proven yourself worthy of throwing away two perfectly good summertime hours from your Labor Day weekend that could have been spent doing something more enjoyable, like watching paint dry. Day One of the 2014 FIBA World Cup is in the books,
The 2014 Basketball World Cup is finally here. And you need to take it seriously, because everyone else does. Thanks to NBC and the other fall-in-line media outlets, most Americans believe the Olympics is the premier international basketball event. Globally, nothing could be further from the truth. With 24 teams and no automatic bid for the host, the World Cup is twice the size of the Olympics. It doesn’t share the spotlight with track or swimming. And most of the players will
In years past, Americans have considered the Olympics to be the only relevant international basketball competition. Stateside, the other quadrennial tournament formerly known as the FIBA World Championship went largely unnoticed until Team USA embarrassed themselves in 2002, losing three times in Indianapolis and finishing sixth after never having lost with NBA players. The rest of the world sees things differently. Other basketball federations have been viewing the World Championship as the more important international competition. Also, because the very best Americans play
There is an official song and music video — “Sube la Copa” for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, and it is kind of catchy. Or maybe not. You can judge for yourself. I am not well versed in Huecco’s music portfolio, but I understand he is a celebrity in Espana. Here is the video. (The only member of Team USA who makes a cameo is Derrick Rose).
The latest version of Team USA that is preparing to defend its title at the World Cup of Basketball in Spain is much bigger than previous editions. But is it better? Previous American squads were built around perimeter players such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, none of whom are here this time around. The stud of this squad appears to be Anthony Davis, who was entering his senior year of high school when the last World Cup was