Much of the discussion about Team USA Basketball heading into the FIBA World Cup surrounded the squad’s complete lack of star power. And matters only seem to be getting worse for the U.S. team.
USA Basketball held its camp in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and the practice included a scrimmage against a random group of fringe NBA, G League and overseas players. What was probably supposed to be a confidence-boosting scrimmage aimed at building chemistry ended up being an embarrassing defeat for the national team.
That’s right. A team led by guys like Scottie Hopson, Chris Chiozza and Justin Anderson took it to Team USA in the 10-minute scrimmage and won by 19 points (36-17). Seriously, look at this roster. Jeff Van Gundy pulled off some coaching magic.
Here’s the LA Select Team roster USA Basketball assembled, mostly from the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, currently scrimmaging in LA tonight versus the 15 NBA players vying to make the World Cup Team. Cool to see USA Basketball reward some of the guys that helped get them to China. pic.twitter.com/5kni54gRd0
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) August 14, 2019
Team USA had seen its share of stars either declining invites or dropping out of camp, but you’d still think a team of Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell and Harrison Barnes would be able to hold off mediocre-at-best competition.
A scrappy squad of players featuring some who played in @FIBAWC qualifying for @usabasketball and are being coached again this week by Jeff Van Gundy just took it to the USAB senior national team in a scrimmage open at the end to the media. Final score: 36-17
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 14, 2019
Scrappy performance, indeed.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, Team USA lost two games on the day to the select squad.
As if the Team USA drubbing vs. the Select Team wasn’t bad enough, sources tell @TheAthletic that it was their second loss to the Select Team on the day (the first one was by three, with the game going just 10 minutes). Not a great way to go into Friday’s exhibition v. Spain.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) August 14, 2019
They play Spain in an exhibition on Friday, so we won’t have to wait long to see where Team USA really stands. But early reports are not looking favorable.