United States and the World Cup: a mission for 12 rookies | Sports


There are 12 rookies and they are the favorites. The United States appears in the Basketball World Cup that begins this Friday in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines with another completely new team. None of the dozen or so players Steve Kerr coaches has ever played a big game with the senior team, and several of them have never even stepped foot in the youth ranks before. Until the preparation tour, they had never tested their chemistry on the track or their coexistence in the dressing room. It is a young group (the oldest are Bobby Portis and Josh Hart, 28 years old) and with no experience in FIBA ​​competitions. None of the biggest stars in the NBA shine in their ranks. And yet they are the most feared, the first in any pool to hang the gold.

“It is the strongest rival in the world, a super team made up of 12 great players. They are above the rest”, analyzes Sergio Scariolo, Spain coach. “By amount of talent, the United States can put together five teams perfectly capable of winning gold. This is a team full of top-level basketball players who have not had the status and recognition of superstars among the least understood public, because not everyone follows the NBA like those of us who do professionally. But it is also true that although each time they have had a team that can win every game by 30 points, they have not always succeeded. Sometimes there is room to compete”.

Through this crack that has opened up a style that is sometimes too individualistic, several generations that were aiming for the top have fallen. Without going any further in the past World Cup, when Team USA fell to its worst ranking ever, seventh place after two consecutive victories in the 2010 and 2014 events. And that is precisely the great challenge for Steve Kerr, amassing a Collective game awareness that multiplies the benefits of each piece, appeases egos so that they add up to a union objective.

More than on the parquet, in the United States the star is on the bench. Kerr, 57, is a myth who collects nine NBA championship rings: five as a short between the Bulls and San Antonio, and four as coach of the Warriors. In December 2021, he was named the United States coach until 2024, taking over from another legend, Gregg Popovich, whose assistant he was in the national team. “I am sure that this group will represent our country well with effort, talent and the commitment to win together. Everyone is going to play many years in the NBA, but now it’s about making ties with teammates and feeling those moments in the locker room, ”he explained as a recipe before a set-up that included an 88-game victory against Spain in Malaga. 98.

In that appointment, point guard Jalen Brunson (26 years and 1.88m) shone with 23 points, one of the figures on which Kerr wants to build that idea of ​​solidarity. It’s not just about being very good, and Brunson is, but about making others better. The point guard has already left stellar performances, such as the 48 points he signed with the Knicks last April in Cleveland, and in his previous four-year stint at the Dallas Mavericks he earned praise from Luka Doncic. But now he is at the helm of the United States with the challenge of making the meccano work. He assumes that role of glue: “My personality is very different if you compare it with other players with a prominent profile. I try to be one more, live a normal life and get away from egos. I cannot cover the track in two seconds nor am I in spectacular physical condition. I have to be smart.” “He’s great, he deserves all the money he asks for,” Doncic said when the Knicks signed Brunson to a four-year, $100 million contract.

At his side is Anthony Edwards, a 22-year-old, 1.93m guard from Minnesota, designated by Kerr as “the benchmark”. “He knows it and the team knows it. He thinks he’s the best on the track every night. We see it every day in training. He is making the leap ”, comments the coach about the number 10 from the United States, all star this course for the first time, top scorer on the tour prior to the World Cup (19.2 points on average) and another young man bathed in gold by his franchise: 260 million for five seasons.

The shooting guard Austin Reaves, revelation in the Lakers the last two seasons and blessed by LeBron James, and power forward Paolo Banchero, named NBA rookie of the year with the Orlando Magic and who has chosen to play with the North American team, will also claim the spotlight. after being shortlisted with Italy for the last Eurobasket.

The United States shares a group with Greece, New Zealand and Jordan. Five times world champions, like Yugoslavia, are moved by the pride of reaching the historic record of a sixth star alone and of repairing the disappointment of China 2019. The Spanish Jordi Fernández, coach of Canada and first assistant in the Sacramento Kings, warns: “They are a benchmark. Every time they compete they are a new set. Now they have a big challenge again. If they reach a good moment as a team, it will be very difficult for someone to beat them.

The US 12

Bases and escorts: Jalen Brunson (NY Knicks), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana) and Austin Reaves (Lakers).

eaves: Mikal Bridges (Brooklyn), Brandon Ingram (Pelicans), Josh Hart (NY Knicks) y Cam Johnson (Brooklyn).

Power forwards and centers: Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis), Paolo Banchero (Orlando), Walker Kessler (Utah) and Bobby Portis (Milwaukee).

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook y Twitterpoint here to receive our weekly newsletter.

Subscribe to continue reading

Read without limits

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.