Team USA Basketball has been dominant over the past decade, but its reign of terror could be in jeopardy. Recently, star players have been withdrawing from this year’s FIBA World Cup.
While there is plenty of talent still left to go around, Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis and James Harden made the decision to drop out for this summer. Bradley Beal, C.J. McCollum and Eric Gordon have also decided to withdraw.
It appears the reason for stars dropping out from Team USA is because they’re prioritizing this upcoming NBA season – in most cases, anyway (Beal has his second child on the way).
Now that Golden State isn’t considered the overwhelming favorite to win the NBA Finals, teams see an opening to win next year’s title. This makes sense due to the league suddenly being centered on dynamic duos, not big threes.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that players prefer to stay home and gain chemistry with their new teammates.
As a result of this recent shift in balance, the NBA won’t have its best possible team representing Team USA.
USA Basketball making case that NBA players often produce career years following offseason playing for national team. But this summer of World Cup, players prioritizing staying home to get better acclimated with teammates in an upcoming season without a clear-cut title favorite.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 23, 2019
The current projected roster for Team USA consists of young stars like Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and Kyle Kuzma.
Kevin Love, Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton should provide a nice veteran presence for Team USA this summer. Of course, that is if they decide to remain on the roster.