World Cup Preview: Team USA, NBA Players Participating, Schedule

It’s FIBA World Cup time — which may not mean much to sports fans in general, but it sure gives basketball fans something to do during football season.Jalen Brunson drives to the basket as a member of Team USA.

It’s true, as for the next 10 days, there will be at least eight basketball games a day, many of which will feature NBA players. Included in that, of course, is Team USA, which is ONLY NBA players.

Other countries have some NBA guys, though not as many as fans would probably like — given that Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Nikola Jokic (Sertbia), Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia) and Jamal Murray (Canada) are among those missing the tournament for one reason or another.

Anyway, the World Cup will continue on through Sept. 10, when both the championship and consolation games will be held. The only day in that stretch with no basketball is Sept. 4, when everyone is given a day off.

At first, we will have group play in which each of the 32 national teams will play six games. After that, we get into the tournament portion.

Most of Team USA’s games will air on ESPN2, though you will need ESPN+ or the ESPN app to watch the whole thing. For the record, not one member of the team has played in international competition such as the Olympics or World Cup previously.

The Americans’ roster is as follows:

Not a bad lineup, and it’s actually kind of intriguing all the way around. Plenty of good players there. But not exactly LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

Either way, you have to like the Americans’ odds of getting out of Group C, and perhaps even going undefeated in that group, which also includes Jordan, Spain and New Zealand.

So, is it pro basketball at its finest? Probably not. But is it sure to be some mighty fine basketball during football season? Without a question, and basketball fans around the world will undoubtedly take it.

Below is a list of NBA players for each country. You can find the full schedule here.

Angola: Bruno Fernando, C, Hawks.

Australia: Xavier Cooks; Dyson Daniels, G, Pelicans; Dante Exum, G, Mavericks; Josh Giddey, G, Thunder; Josh Green, G, Mavericks; Joe Ingles, F, Magic; Patty Mills, G, Hawks; Matisse Thybulle, G, Blazers; Jack White, F, Thunder.

Brazil: Raul Neto, PG, Cavaliers/Fenerbahce.

Canada: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Timberwolves; R.J. Barrett, G/F, Knicks; Dillon Brooks, F, Rockets; Luguentz Dort, G, Thunder; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Thunder; Kelly Olynyk, F, Jazz; Dwight Powell, C, Mavericks.

China: Kyle Anderson, F, Timberwolves.

Dominican Republic: Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Timberwolves.

Finland: Lauri Markkanen, F, Jazz.

France: Nicolas Batum, G/F, Clippers; Evan Fournier, G, Knicks; Rudy Gobert, C, Timberwolves.

Georgia: Goga Bitadze, F, Magic; Sandro Mamukelashvili, F, Spurs.

Germany: Dennis Schroder, PG, Raptors; Daniel Theis, C, Pacers; Franz Wagner, F, Magic; Moritz Wagner, C/F, Magic.

Greece: Thanasis Antetokounmpo, F, Bucks.

Italy: Simone Fontecchio, G/F, Jazz.

Japan: Yuta Watanabe, F, Suns.

Latvia: Davis Bertans, F, Thunder.

Lithuania: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Pelicans.

Monetnegro: Nikola Vucevic, C, Bulls.

Philippines: Jordan Clarkson, G, Jazz.

Serbia: Bogdan Bogdanovic, G/F, Hawks; Nikola Jovic, F, Heat; Filip Petrusev, PF, 76ers.

Slovenia: Luka Donic, G, Mavericks.

South Sudan: Wenyen Gabriel, F/C, Lakers; Carlik Jones, PG, Bulls.

Spain: Santi Aldama, C, Grizzlies.

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