The month of August culminates the world’s undying love for basketball through the quadrennial FIBA World Cup, as 2023 welcomes the titans of the sport to Philippine shores. Apart from the unwithering hopes of a deep tournament run for the host nation, eyes are fixed on the U.S.A., noting the possibility of witnessing the unrivaled first-hand expertise of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
As star-studded as any world-gathering may get, the Americans send forth a lineup filled with youth and talent to initially square off at the SM Mall of Asia Arena for the group stages.
Fresh off their NBA superstar-caliber seasons, Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards and Indiana Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton lead the athletic backcourt. Los Angeles Laker Austin Reaves contributes his elite shot-creating and slashing ability as a reliable wing option, supplementing the New York Knick guard-duo of Josh Hart and 2023 NBA All-Star snub Jalen Brunson.
On the other hand, Team USA’s frontcourt sees 2020 NBA All-Star Brandon Ingram accompanied by Phoenix-Suns-turned-Big-Apple standouts Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson. Initially perceived to be a member of Italy’s national roster, Orlando’s Rookie-of-the-Year Paolo Banchero brings size and athleticism at the three and four with Utah Jazz’s Walker Kessler, Milwaukee Bucks’ Bobby Portis, and current NBA Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr. are suitable candidates at the five.
Before traveling to the Philippines, the Steve Kerr-led ensemble schedules to undergo training camp sessions starting August 3 in Las Vegas, with a friendly showdown scheduled against Group B participant Puerto Rico.