FIBA WORLD CUP
What is Team USA’s worst result in a basketball World Cup with NBA players on its roster?
Steve Kerr’s men were eliminated by the undefeated Germany in the semifinals, but that wasn’t USA’s worst performance in a World Cup.
Many thought that Team USA was talented enough to bring the title home, while some others believed that it was not an unbeatable side, with no superstars in it.
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and his team headed to the Philippines with the goal of going all the way in the tournament, but things have played out differently.
The Americans looked in great shape in their exhibition games before the FIBA World Cup, winning all of them. Those good results kept showing up during the first round, where they defeated New Zealand, Greece, and Jordan quite easily.
However, things got trickier in the second round, when they had to play Montenegro and Lithuania. They had to dig deep to come out on top against Bosko Radovic’s side and lost their first game against the Lithuanians.
In the quarterfinals, they dismantled Italy and that win seemed to restore the Americans’ confidence, but Germany, the standout team in the competition, pulled off the upset and advanced to the final.
Team USA’s worst result in a FIBA World Cup
The World Cup was restricted to European and South American professional players for the first 40 years, but in 1989 FIBA allowed NBA players for future tournaments. Since 1994, NBA players have featured in each Basketball World Cup, losing 10 games in the competition.
The USA are always expected to make it to the finals and win the title, no matter if it’s the Olympic Games or the World Cup.
Not being able to play in the last round is considered a failure for a country with so many great talents, and their Olympic history. And although it’s difficult to picture a final without the USA playing it, that scenario has taken place a few times in the past.
However, the Americans’ worst performance in a World Cup ever happened in 2019. They finished seventh after losing to France in the quarterfinals (79-89) in a tournament that Spain ended up winning.