Things clearly didn’t go as planned for Team USA after losing not once but three times in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, including the Bronze Medal game to Canada. That stunning upset has the basketball world in a tizzy, with the once-invincible Team USA losing three of their last four games.
With other countries having dramatically improved since the original Dream Team’s debut in the 1992 Olympics, the US has put increasing effort into building the best possible team, not just a roster full of stars. That seemingly worked like a charm in 2008 with the famous Redeem Team, and again in 2012, 2016, and 2020.
Now they will be forced to go back to the drawing board, with the competition clearly stepping up their game to counteract Team USA’s strategy. “It’s not 1992 anymore,” Coach Steve Kerr said following the team’s loss to Greece. Right, he is, but there is still hope for Team USA in the 2024 Olympics.
Team USA’s FIBA Cup failure will lead to a new Dream Team in 2024.
With alarm bells going off following their underwhelming showing, the 2024 Men’s Basketball Olympic team could merge the best of the 2020 Gold Medal team and this year’s roster.
That could include some combination of Stephen Curry, Devin Booker, Anthony Edwards, Damian Lillard, Tyrese Haliburton, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, and even LeBron James himself. While LeBron will be 39 years old by the time next year’s Olympics come around, he hinted at his involvement following their recent loss.
While they will have to be careful not to repeat the mistake of forming another all-star team that doesn’t gel well together, adding the best parts to a team that already won a gold medal two years ago might be enough for Team USA to win another gold medal in 2024.
All in all, Team USA’s disappointing play in the FIBA World Cup might be the wake-up call that they needed to get things on track before the Olympics. It could also help them recruit players who might have otherwise been on the fence about returning.