The US’ quest for a 3rd straight FIBA World Cup championship will start with matchups in opposition to Turkey, the Czech Republic and Japan this summer season.
The People are in Group E for the event that begins in China on Aug. 31. The 32 groups that certified for the occasion had been all positioned into certainly one of eight teams throughout the draw that was held in Shenzhen, China on Saturday.
The U.S. gained the World Cup in 2010 and 2014. No nation has ever gained it three consecutive instances.
The U.S. is the world’s No. 1-ranked workforce by FIBA. Second-ranked Spain will meet Puerto Rico, Iran and Tunisia within the group stage. Third-ranked France drew the Dominican Republic, Germany and Jordan as its early opponents.
“We’re prepared for the world,” mentioned Yao Ming, the very best Chinese language participant ever, the longtime Houston Rockets star and one of many world ambassadors for the World Cup.
At stake for groups within the World Cup: The Naismith Trophy, which longtime NBA star Kobe Bryant introduced onto the stage Saturday and handed to Yao for safekeeping, in addition to a berth within the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There will probably be 12 groups within the Olympic subject – host Japan is one, and 7 different nations will immediately qualify from the World Cup. The opposite 4 will attain Tokyo by means of qualifying tournaments over the subsequent 12 months.
The U.S. would be the favorites on the World Cup. Bryant mentioned he expects competitors to be stiff, even for the People.
“It is a better sense of honor to be taking part in in your nation,” Bryant mentioned. “While you begin out the sport, you hear your nationwide anthem being performed, you see all people within the enviornment with their flags representing their nation and coloration, it is simply such a fantastic honor to be part of that. It is extraordinarily particular.”
It is nonetheless unclear which NBA gamers will be part of coach Gregg Popovich in China. The People, who used G League gamers to get by means of the qualifying rounds, will not even convene for World Cup coaching camp till early August and have a pool of 35 gamers to select from for this summer season’s video games.
Many gamers aren’t anticipated to determine a method or one other till after the NBA season. Popovich, the veteran coach in San Antonio, mentioned even with the playoff push occurring within the NBA, he usually finds his thoughts drifting towards his new duties as coach of the nationwide workforce.
“I take into consideration that on a regular basis,” Popovich mentioned. “You’ll be able to’t assist however take into consideration the USA factor while you’re on this state of affairs.”
Houston star James Harden, the NBA’s reigning MVP, mentioned the lure of the World Cup and taking part in for the USA is troublesome to disregard.
“As a basketball participant, that is one of many highest factors you may get for basketball,” Harden mentioned. “Clearly, you’ve got obtained the NBA and you’ve got profitable a championship and all that good things, however with this, you are not simply taking part in in your respective cities or the place you are from, you are taking part in for a complete nation you characterize. So, it is fairly superior to be part of it.”
Groups had been slotted into certainly one of eight teams.
Group A: Venezuela, Poland, China and Ivory Coast.
Group B: Argentina, Russia, South Korea and Nigeria.
Group C: Spain, Puerto Rico, Iran and Tunisia.
Group D: Serbia, Italy, Philippines and Angola.
Group E: USA, Turkey, Czech Republic, Japan.
Group F: Greece, Brazil, Montenegro, New Zealand.
Group G: France, Dominican Republic, Germany, Jordan.
Group H: Lithuania, Australia, Canada, Senegal.