What’s next for the men’s basketball team in the United States?

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — The 2024 Paris Olympics aren’t on the agenda for the men’s national team of the United States of America. It’s not even the World Cup in 2023, which will be held in the Philippines.

It’s a qualification tournament that will take place in around three months.

In normal circumstances, the Olympics are intended to be held every four years, giving USA Basketball plenty of time to catch its breath. These aren’t your typical times. Because of the pandemic’s delay, the cycle between Tokyo and Paris is only three years, which means the route to the 2024 Games is starting significantly faster than usual.

WHERE DOES THE NATIONAL TEAM GO FROM HERE?

It depends on how you define it. Most fans associate the national team with NBA stars such as Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Bam Adebayo, and it’s unlikely that any of them will don the red, white, and blue with “USA” across their breasts until the 2023 World Cup. However, if history repeats itself, USA Basketball will field a team of G League players in the first World Cup qualifiers in November. That will be the first of six two-game windows in which the Americas region will qualify. The procedure will be extended until February 2023.

WHY IS QUALIFICATION FOR THE WORLD CUP IMPORTANT?

Despite the fact that the United States is currently ranked No. 1 in the world by FIBA and is expected to remain there after winning a fourth consecutive Olympic gold, the Americans are not guaranteed a spot in either of the next two major tournaments. They must first qualify for the World Cup, after which they will be able to qualify for the Olympics based on their performance in the World Cup in 2023. If they falter at the World Cup, they’ll have to win a last-chance qualifier, which will most likely take place a few months before the Olympics and during the NBA playoffs.

WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP FOR GRANT HILL?

It will be difficult to succeed Jerry Colangelo as managing director. During Colangelo’s tenure as coach, USA Basketball went 4-for-4 at the Olympics, with Mike Krzyzewski and Gregg Popovich leading the way. Hill, who was hired in March to take over for Colangelo for the next Olympic cycle, will need to choose a coach quickly and begin the process of forging relationships with potential players. For the sake of consistency, the US should send the same core of players to the World Cup and, subsequently, the Olympics. Realistically, it’s debatable whether that’s achievable.

WHO MAY PARTICIPATE IN 2023 AND 2024?

There’s no way of knowing right now. Kevin Durant will turn 33 next month, but he’ll be under contract through the 2025-26 season, which could mean he’ll want to compete in the 2024 Olympics in Paris to become the first four-time gold medalist in men’s basketball history. Zach LaVine, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, and Bam Adebayo would appear to be excellent contenders for Paris based on their ages and responsibilities in this squad. Donovan Mitchell, Zion Williamson, and Julius Randle are among the young players who could be next in line. There will be no shortage of choices. Obtaining commitments will be an issue.

WHY WAS IT SO DIFFICULT TO WIN THIS GOLD?

Popovich has been saying since he took the job that the globe is coming to the United States, and it is true. France boasts a youthful core of players that have been together for a long time and will have the advantage of hosting the 2024 Olympic Games at home. The NBA’s finest players are mostly Americans, but getting them all to commit to the national team has proven challenging for a variety of reasons. Consider this: this team won gold without LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Chris Paul, James Harden, Anthony Davis, and Bradley Beal, despite their commitment to participate until a virus-related condition prevented them from doing so.

Reference:https://www.beloitdailynews.com/sports/explainer-whats-next-for-the-usa-basketball-mens-program/article_1f4a1eb1-7542-57e2-9d8f-8d9e300ccadc.html

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