By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The director of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo, talked to the Athletic on NBA players snubbing the 2019 FIBA World Cup, but expressing interest for the 2020 Olympic Games. Players opting to rally around the latter competition might have weakened Gregg Popovich’s side at China, but are already creating a totally different situation ahead of Japan, Colangelo confirmed.
“The reality is the World Cup, although it’s very big around the world, it doesn’t have the same status in the States,” confessed the 79-year-old American. “Our focus is apparently on the Olympics, and I expected a different response.”
Team USA is coming off worst-ever seventh place in the World Cup, but still punched a direct Olympic ticket. The goal for next summer will certainly be the fourth straight and the 16th overall Olympic gold medal, a stronger roster will simplify the objective.