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August 12, 2019
Team USA is looking to pull off a FIBA World Cup three-peat, which has never been done in the 69-year history of the event.
Head coach Gregg Popovich with assistants Steve Kerr, Lloyd Pierce, and Jay Wright will try to get the third FIBA World Cup in a row.
Many big name players have withdrawn from Team USA. Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Eric Gordon, James Harden, Montrezl Harrell, Tobias Harris, Damian Lillard, Kevin Love, CJ McCollum, Paul Millsap and Julius Randle.
A lot of attention has been paid to the players who won’t be at Team USA training camp in preparation for the FIBA World Cup, but the players who are in attendance are grateful for the chance to represent their country.
“This is like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of us,” Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker told reporters in Las Vegas on Monday. “I think a lot of us are happy those guys pulled out because this is our chance.
The shifting Team USA roster over the past several weeks enabled Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart to earn invites. Jayson Tatum was already on the roster, and Kemba Walker had committed before he signed with the Celtics in free agency. It all created an unexpected chance for the established Celtics to get time together with their new teammate.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Sunday that he is not worried about the Americans’ chances as they begin preparations for the FIBA World Cup, even after a wildly unpredictable process was needed just to fill a training-camp roster for the tournament that starts in China at the end of the month.
“Honestly, I don’t have any angst,” Colangelo said. After what the two-time defending World Cup champion Americans have been through just to get to camp, that’s a very good sign.