Why Team USA's World Cup failure was good for basketball

The US men’s national basketball team crashed out of the World Cup - but it’s a sign that other countries are closing the talent gapThis was a failure by the US men’s national basketball team, no question about it. Team USA don’t suffer too many defeats, so each one tends to feel like a disaster. To be more specific, Wednesday’s 89-78 loss to France in the quarter-finals of the Fiba World Cup was the program’s first since 2006. While it came earlier in the tournament than many had predicted, nobody can claim it was completely unexpected. History, however, tells us that the Americans will be back and stronger than ever. In the meantime, let this result be another example of the health of the sport around the world.It was obvious heading into China that this particular edition of Team USA was going to have a challenge on its hands. Star after star dropped out on the way towards the main event, leaving the Boston Celtics point guard Kemba Walker as the sole reigning all-NBA player on the roster. The US memorably lost to Australia in a warm-up game and they probably would have dropped their game against Turkey in the tournament’s first round were in not for a series of increasingly absurd free-throw misses by their opponents late in the contest. Continue reading...

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/s...

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