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The United States men’s basketball team headed to the 2019 FIBA World Cup might not be the best the country has to offer.
The squad reportedly suffered a 36-17 loss in a scrimmage Wednesday to an LA Select Team made up of mostly G League and overseas players, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN.
The select team was mostly made up of players who helped navigate the United States through FIBA qualifiers. While most NBA players were preparing for their season last summer, lesser-known players helped the Americans go 10-2 to finish first in their group.
The squad that competed against Team USA Wednesday featured some former college stars as well as a few NBA contributors, like Justin Anderson, John Jenkins and Yante Maten. Jeff Van Gundy served as the team’s head coach.
Of course, the real story was the struggles from the team expected to compete for a gold medal in China at the end of this month.
The roster was already thin with several big names dropping out over the course of training camp after receiving invitations, including James Harden, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal among others. Head coach Gregg Popovich had to move down the list to find quality contributors to fill his roster.
With that said, there is still more than enough talent on the squad to expect a strong performance at the World Cup.
Walker and Khris Middleton are All-Stars while Mitchell, De’Aaron Fox, Kyle Kuzma and Jayson Tatum are among the young stars looking to break out and reach that next level.
Although the scrimmage won’t count against Team USA in the quest for gold, it was certainly a concerning result for a team that is too talented for this type of effort.