Team USA flopped at the FIBA World Cup: Now What?


Jacob Durbin

After a crushing defeat to France in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Team USA’s perfect streak was
finally over. A record of 56-0 since the year 2008 had been snapped at last. While some may
have claimed they had anticipated this event, it’s still shocking to think about. For over a
decade, there was no other country that came close to touching Team USA in international
play. It’s safe to say things are different now.

This defeat not only shows the
improvement in the development of international players; but it more importantly exposes a weakness in USA basketball we haven’t seen in a dozen years. However, while certainly unfortunate, our national team’s result in the FIBA World Cup

may spawn some positive effects after all.
Just days following USA’s loss to France, NBA superstars Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard
committed to play for Team USA in the 2020 Olympics, the largest and most important
international basketball competition in the world. Curry’s All-Star teammate, SG Klay
Thompson, soon followed Curry’s lead.
While Team USA’s FIBA roster was nothing to be ashamed of, players the likes of Curry, Lillard,
and Thompson are far more similar to the type of NBA talent basketball fans across the country
have become accustomed to watching suit up in the red, white, and blue; bona fide Top 20 NBA
While these 3 players alone could most likely make it extremely difficult for any other country
to challenge the USA for the gold in Tokyo this summer, I can’t help but imagine other top-tier
NBA players will also join the cause.
Hopefully, with this newly acquired star power, Team USA will look to return to form as the
only basketball titan in the world.