No LeBron James? No Problem as USA Basketball Has Enough Star Power to Bounce Back From FIBA World Cup Debacle

As the dust settled from the embarrassing FIBA World Cup performance by the United States Men’s Basketball in Spain in the summer, most people seemed to agree that the Americans were just as good as their opponents, but that they just lost to better teams.

The first world basketball championship in 24 years will open with players who are not part of the official rosters. The United States will have more star power than they have ever had, but the absence of LeBron James could still be a problem. The NBA star was left off the roster while he recovers from a sprained ankle, and will play in the World Cup only as an observer. He won’t even be in the arena when the opening ceremonies begin.

The United States men’s basketball team suffered a narrow defeat in its last FIBA World Cup, losing to Serbia in the quarterfinals by a score of 83-71. The USA had a chance to bounce back on Wednesday against Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals of the silver medal round, but lost by a score of 71-63.. Read more about why were nba players not allowed in the olympics and let us know what you think.

Since a disappointing bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Games, USA Basketball has won 24 Olympic games in a row. Officially, the win streak stands at 25, but the victory over Lithuania in the bronze medal match was the end rather than the beginning. After this humiliation, NBA superstars became more inclined to participate in the Olympics. The results were gold in the truest sense of the word.

There is no shortage of stars for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo (in 2021), which will take place at the end of July. Three Olympic veterans are on the Tokyo team. The rest of the team is completed by a group of aspiring Olympians.

But these recruits have a better resume than the first American basketball team Gregg Popovich coached at the international level. A repeat of the 2019 China fiasco still hangs in the air like a dark cloud.

FIBA World Basketball Championship in China largely ignored by superstars


Prior to the name change of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, USA Basketball won back-to-back world championships. But coach Mike Krzyzewski has stepped down as head coach of the U.S. basketball team. Popovich has moved up in the program from his assistant position.

Superstars have mostly avoided China. Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose (before his injury) and Russell Westbrook all played for Team USA at the 2010 World Cup. Similarly, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden and Kyrie Irving were all available in 2014.

Two years ago in China, Kemba Walker, Brooke Lopez and Chris Middleton were the only stars. There were young rising stars like Jaylen Brown, Donovan Mitchell and Jason Tatum. Tatum’s injury in the second game of the group stage drastically changed the rotation. Missed three-pointers by the U.S. basketball team did the rest.

With the exception of Joe Harris, who shot 50 percent from distance during the tournament, Team USA shot just 34.9 percent from three-point range. They still managed to get out of the group stage undefeated. However, in the round of 16, they lost to France and Serbia in consecutive matches. The US basketball team finished seventh, beating Poland.

Veteran leads group of young American basketball players to Tokyo

Kevin Durant (5) and Draymond Green (14) of the U.S. basketball team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. | Tom Pennington/Getty Images

During the NBA playoffs, Durant took a struggling Brooklyn Nets to overtime in Game 7, then lost to the Milwaukee Bucks. The two-time gold medalist is the key player on the U.S. 12-man basketball team for the Tokyo Olympics, ESPN reports. The team also includes 2016 gold medalist Draymond Green and Love, who played alongside Durant in the 2012 Olympics.

Still, there’s no shortage of stars, even though James Harden is out with a hamstring injury. In addition, several other superstars, including LeBron James and Stephen Curry, have decided not to play, as this will be the second consecutive short offseason for the NBA.

Yet there are stars among the Olympic candidates. Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jrue Holiday, Bam Adebayo and Devin Booker are all-stars. In addition, Middleton and Tatum are also All-Star eligible when they return from the 2019 USA Basketball National Team. Zach LaVine and Jerami Grant round out the list.

The way forward for USA Basketball


Team USA opens its Olympic group with a game against France on the 25th. July. Three players may not attend pre-Olympic training. Middleton, Holiday and Booker are all active in the NBA playoffs and could finish as early as the 22nd round. July contest. In case of delay, the trio promised to reach Japan quickly.

Iran is the other team in Group A, along with the winner of the Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria, Canada. China, Czech Republic, Greece, Turkey and Uruguay join Canada in the field.

Group C features two Chinese finalists, world champions Spain and runner-up Argentina. The rest of the group consists of Japan and the qualified from a group that includes Angola, Korea, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Venezuela. Australia and Nigeria will play in Group B. They will be joined by two qualifiers.

Germany, Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Russia and Tunisia are all vying for a place at the Olympics in Croatia. Meanwhile, another place goes to the winner of Serbia. The Dominican Republic, Italy, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Senegal and host country Serbia will participate in the tournament. The qualifying tournaments take place from the 29th. From June to 4. July takes place.

In the group stage, the winner and runner-up of each round robin group will qualify for the knockout round. The two teams finishing in third place will qualify for the quarter-finals. A draw will determine the quarter-finals.

USA Basketball leads the FIBA world rankings for the Olympics, followed by Spain, Australia and Argentina. France is in 7th place and Iran in 23rd.

USA Basketball historical information; FIBA Olympic information.

COMPARED TO: Medals at the 2020 Olympics will be unlike any other

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