In the latest edition of “who’d a thunk it,” the US men’s basketball team is once again ranked No. 1 in the world by FIBA, despite losing three of its last four games in the World Cup and finished in a disappointing fourth place. place.
FIBA said in a press release that the Americans rose from the No. 2 spot to No. 1 “after benefiting from their consistency in major tournaments over the past three summers.”
Team USA won gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, of course. But then in 2022, at the FIBA AmeriCup, a tournament so “important” that the most notable players on the American team were Norris Cole and Patrick McCaw, the United States finished third.
And of course, at the World Cup, which concluded Sunday in Manila, Philippines, the Americans (featuring 12 NBA players and three current All-Stars) won their first four before losing to Lithuania, Germany (in the semifinals) and Canada in extra time. with the bronze medal at stake.
Why Team USA That Didn’t Win the FIBA World Cup Wasn’t a Total Loss
Former No. 1 team and 2019 World Cup champion Spain failed to reach the medal round this summer and dropped one place to No. 2. Germany, which won the World Cup for the first time, jumped from 11th place to third place, its highest ranking ever.
The Serbians, world runners-up, rose from sixth to fifth place, and the Canadians advanced from 15th to sixth. Latvia, which reached the quarterfinals, jumped from 30th place to eighth.
Counting friendlies, the U.S. had wins over Spain, Germany, No. 11 Slovenia (without Luka Dončić, who sat out for precautionary reasons), No. 13 Italy, No. 14 Greece, No. 16 Puerto Rico and No. 17 Montenegro. .
The next big tournament (by our standards, though not necessarily FIBA’s) is the Paris Olympics next summer. The Americans, four-time defending gold medalists, have already qualified and are expected to send a roster with star power not seen since 2016, if not since 2012.
LeBron ready to commit to 2024 Olympic team
FIBA world ranking
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
- United States (2)
- Spain (1)
- Germany (11)
- Australia (3)
- Serbia (6)
- Canada (15)
- Argentina (4)
- Latvia (30)
- France (5)
- Lithuania (8)
(Mikal Bridges Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
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