Can USA bring home gold in the 2019 basketball World Cup?

Can USA bring home gold in the 2019 basketball World Cup?
August 29
02:00 2019

USA basketball comes into this year’s World Cup with a lot of skepticism. With many of the top stars opting out of playing for team USA this year for a myriad of reasons, many fans are worried the U.S. may come home with something other than a gold medal.

Team USA has won five straight gold medals with the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook playing for the team. With those players and others leading the way, Team USA has not suffered a loss since 2006. 

None of those players are participating this year.

Several players on the team have taken exception to the negative talk surrounding this team. The players feel confident in their abilities to bring home the gold medal and have used it as motivation to compete at a higher level. The World Cup begins on Aug. 31 in China.

“It’s like they picked us up off the street,” said Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. “We’re NBA players. We’re pretty good at what we do. It’s added a chip on our shoulder, and we’re going to take it with us.”

Personally, I can understand where Tatum is coming from, but the reality is the rest of the world has closed the talent gap on the United States to some degree, so for us not to put the best players we have on the court makes that gap even closer. Several countries such as Spain and France have several NBA players on their rosters as well.

The lack of top tier talent on Team USA has not shaken the confidence of Kemba Walker. The only All-NBA player on the roster has high hopes.

“We are embracing it as much as we can,” he said. “It’s adding fuel to the fire. A lot of us, it’s where we come from. We come from being underdogs, most of us. We’re hungry.”

Red flags began to really pop up when reports started flying around about Team USA losing a scrimmage against a group of G League players. According to several reports I have read, Team USA players had no prior knowledge of the scrimmage and were coming off a two-hour practice prior to the game. It was also stated that the scrimmage was only two 10-minute quarters. I later read that Team USA returned the favor the next day with a decisive victory against the G Leaguers.

Recently, things have seemed to calm down to some degree since the U.S. team defeated Spain and Australia in exhibition games prior to the World Cup tournament.  

No, this team is not loaded with NBA stars, but with players like Walker, Tatum and Donovan Mitchell, Team USA should come away with the gold.  The scores will just be a bit closer than in years past.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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