The first week of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup has proven troublesome for Team USA. Even though the group stage of the tournament was not expected to present much of a challenge, USA narrowly defeated Turkey on Tuesday by just one point in overtime. Even so, Turkey should have won, only missing free throws in the closing moments to choke away the contest. Considering USA also lost to Australia in an exhibition game leading up to the tournament, it is clear that this edition of the international team is not the country’s strongest. So what has gone wrong, and how can U.S.A. Basketball fix the current situation? First of all, the NBA’s most elite superstars don’t play for Team USA in World Cups. Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell, top 25 but certainly not top 10 NBA players, are the best on the roster for this World Cup, which makes sense. The Olympics represent more of a chance for international advancement of an individual’s brand. But the World Cup? It’s under the radar and largely unnoticed by the general public. So we shouldn’t expect names like Stephen Curry and James Harden to appear — there’s no need for the sport’s… Read full this story
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