Posted on August 15, 2019
By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter
Remember the U.S. Men’s Basketball team in the 1992 Olympics? The team was stacked with stars like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley, and David Robinson – and they were phenomenal. The U.S. team heading to the 2019 FIBA World Cup is the complete antithesis of that. Don’t believe us? Well, get comfortable because we have a story for you. Yesterday, USA Basketball hosted a camp, which included a scrimmage against a group of fringe NBA, G League and overseas players, coached by Jeff Van Gundy. You would think that this scrimmage would be a huge confidence boost for the team – except it wasn’t. The team, comprised of NBA players like Kemba Walker and Harrison Barnes, lost 17-36. Either this was Van Gundy’s lucky day, or we are in serious trouble when the 2019 FIBA World Cup tips off at the end of the month.
Here's the LA Select Team roster USA Basketball assembled, mostly from the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, currently scrimmaging in LA tonight versus the 15 NBA players vying to make the World Cup Team. Cool to see USA Basketball reward some of the guys that helped get them to China. pic.twitter.com/5kni54gRd0— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) August 14, 2019
Normally we try to gauge what the fans would do if they were the coaches or the front office, but what if you were the athletes in this situation? How would you be able to rely on your teammates to show up and perform how they’re expected to on an international stage if you had such a terrible scrimmage? We think the fans would face the facts – they performed terrible. But we also think the fans would use that as a learning experience and focus on what really didn’t work for them. They might even opt for some additional training or a team night to reenforce that team bond. Just something to think about if you find your team in the FCFL struggling to come back from an embarrassing loss. You’ve got to be there for your team to figure out what isn’t working!