The United States did not win any medal in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. It was a disappointing performance for Marcus Smart, Kemba Walker, and Jayson Tatum, who led the U.S. national team in a year in which several stars did not want to participate.
Rather, it looks as though players like Draymond Green and Stephen Curry will play next year in the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Meanwhile, what can FIBA do to attract stars to play in their tournament?
There are multiple issues with how the World Cup works – the skewed qualifying windows and the fact that the Olympics following shortly. This doesn’t mean that U.S folks do not want the World Cup to be a big deal. Jerry Colangelo, the USA basketball head, has said that he wants the FIBA contest to be a premier event.
But some, like Rudy Gobert, the French national team big man, and Utah Jazz, don’t ever see that happening. Speaking to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Gobert said that he doesn’t believe players will join in on the FIBA games thanks to how the modern NBA works.
Even though the FIBA has been around since 1932, it is yet a part of the American culture. The Olympics seems to be what both fans and players care about in comparison. That the U.S. men’s team win a gold doesn’t even seem to be that big of a deal, culturally.