(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The second, but the biggest and costliest loss of the FIBA 2023 World Cup Tournament came at the most critical time and with it, a chance to reclaim some of its lost luster in this first-class tournament, since this is the second consecutive failure to reach the Final and compete for the Gold Medal. Instead, TEAM USA will be playing Canada for the Bronze Medal and third place in the eyes of the world.
And thus, Steve Kerr’s first World Cup tournament as Head Coach will result in a very good effort, but against the nations that play competitive basketball today in their countries of origin coupled with this new era of highly skilled, athletic. and versatile foreigners, there are no more automatic berths for TEAM USA to go to the World Cup, or in the same competitive breath, the Olympic Games Finals.
The World has basically and essentially caught up with the United States of America due to the high volume and presence of foreign players making their financially rewarding trek to America and then signing contracts to play in the NBA for anywhere from 3-5 seasons at minimum. This 2023 World Cup will conclude with a Final between Germany and Serbia, after the U.S. takes on Canada for the consolation game.
So there is the new rationale when it comes to why our team no longer remains “on top of the world” in basketball. Here is one of my discretions—three of the four finalist teams have many rostered players already playing in the NBA and G-League, and have managed to improve their games right here in America. Many view this foreign player and country scenario as “everyone is now playing on the same level court, and the basket is still 10′ high with the same court dimensions.” Not much has changed with that statement. It’s the reality of now expecting to see and welcome more players each year coming in from overseas to grab those coveted NBA slots and contracts. And we haven’t even touched on the impact of recruiting and immigrating foreign players to attend our colleges and universities, no matter what NCAA Division you want to talk about. It’s a situation our USA Basketball governing body of Executives and Managers will have to consider as time quickly goes by and the Olympics get closer and closer in Paris, France.
So much for some of my thoughts and opinions on this matter, one that I have been observing intently for quite some time now. I hope that we reach a resolution soon on how to regain a new form of world dominance in this great sport of basketball. Now, let’s get to the encounter with Germany and find out what happened through the ever vigilant coverage of the USA Basketball Communications team.
USA to Play For World Cup Bronze On Sunday After Falling Short to Germany
The United States (5-2) fell short to Germany (7-0), 113-111, in the semifinals at the 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup in Manila, Philippines. The USA will seek its 13th FIBA Men’s World Cup medal versus Canada (5-2) on Sunday at 4:40 p.m. PHT (4:40 a.m. ET) and (1:40 a.m. PT).
[Starting Out]: The United States used the same starters as it has the previous four games: Jalen Brunson, Anthony Edwards, Mikal Bridges, Josh Hart and Jaren Jackson Jr.
[Worth Noting]: With tonight’s 113-111 loss, the USA dropped to 13-1 all-time and 2-1 at the FIBA Men’s World Cup versus Germany. The U.S. falls to 4-4 in semifinal games (since 1986).
[Points Galore]: With 224 total points scored, the USA-Germany game saw more points scored in a FIBA Men’s World Cup game since 1990 (Korea def. Egypt, 115-117, 1990). With a 31-33 score at the end of the first quarter, it was the highest first quarter score in a World Cup semifinal. Before today, no team had ever scored 30+ points in the opening quarter of a semifinal. It was the highest scoring first half (60-59) at the World Cup since 2002 when New Zealand and Germany combined for 122 points in the bronze medal game. It was also the first time that both teams have scored more than 100 points in a knockout round in the main bracket.
[The Charity Stripe]: The USA went 23-for-24 (.958) from the free throw line. Today’s was their best performance from the line (.778, 21-27 FT, vs. New Zealand). The U.S. last shot 100% from the line at the World Cup vs. Tunisia in 2010.
[Sue Bird Named Global Ambassador]: American legend Sue Bird was named the Global Ambassador for the 2026 FIBA Women’s World Cup, set for Berlin in Sept. 2026. Bird is the only player to have won the Women’s World Cup four times (2018, 2014, 2010, 2022). Bird also has five Olympic titles and was the flag bearer for her country at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
[Leading the Way]: Edwards’ 23 points led the U.S. for the fourth time this tournament. He also led the Americans with eight boards. It’s the first time he led the U.S. in points and rebounds.
[Double-Digit Scorers]: The U.S. had at least four double-digit scorers for the fifth time. Austin Reaves notched his tournament-high (21), while Bridges and Brunson contributed 17 and 15 points, respectively.
[Sharing the Rock]: Tyrese Haliburton and Brunson again led the USA in assists with eight and seven, respectively. Either Haliburton or Brunson have led the U.S. in assists in nine of the USA’s 12 games this summer.
[Bridges Lately]: Bridges has scored 10+ points in each of his last three games after not doing it in any of his previous four. Bridges finished the night with 17 points.
USA vs. CAN | Sept. 10, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. PHT | Manila, Philippines | TBD/ESPN+