The recent disappointment made by the USA national basketball team at the FIBA World Cup tournament has sparked some anger from fans and some talk from the rest of the league. After a press conference with U.S. track and field sprinter Noah Lyles, expressing his concerns on why the U.S. NBA players call themselves the “Champions of the World,” he received a generous amount of backlash but soon proved right. With the team at the 2019 World Cup finishing in seventh place, their performance this year was supposed to be a comeback to showcase their talents but unfortunately came out empty-handed. The United States has always been the team to beat at the Olympic and national games. With the NBA being mostly made up of players from America, the national team has always been destined to be the best.
This past decade has changed the NBA; more players nationally are developing the skills required to excel in the league. Players like Luka Doncic, who is from Slovenia, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is from Greece and Nikola Jokic, who is from Serbia, are some of the best players in the NBA at the moment. Going into the FIBA World Cup starting back in August, the roster was released for the United States team, and yet even though there were not many superstars in their team, everyone still assumed that the USA would come out on top.
Other nations silenced this assumption after an upset occurred where Lithuania beat the United States by six points. The world quickly came to the conclusion that the sport of basketball was not dominated by American players any more; players from different countries have been on the rise, and they are showcasing their talent in the World Cup. The U.S. then proceeded to lose their next 2 out of 3 games to Germany in the semi-finals and to Canada for the third-place title of the World Cup. This disappointing run by the USA national team has forced NBA stars to take action.
NBA stars have finally been speaking up on this matter. Stars like Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry have expressed severe interest in being part of the USA team in the 2024 Olympics. Joel Embid just committed to the team last week, expressing that after weeks of deciding on where to play, he stated in an Instagram post “I knew it had to be Team USA,” showing that even though the run by Team USA was disappointing to say the least, it looks like 2024 will be a great year for them in the Olympics. So the question that is being asked these days is: if these stars do commit to the Olympic team for next year, will that still be enough for them to stay the kings of basketball, or will other countries from around the world take over and change how the game is play
The USA national team is really putting in all their efforts to come out on top for the 2024 Olympics. With all these stars that are committing and showing deep interest in being part of the team, there should be no problem with creating a super team that can really represent the United States and showcase the superstar talent that we obtain. So the real question is: will the USA comeback and assert dominance once again in the basketball world, or will it finally be taken over by the world and change the way people look at basketball and finally realize that this sport may not be United States-dominated?