The 2019 FIBA World Cup is starting from August 31. There are currently 32 teams who will be competing for the Naismith trophy this year.
The teams of the USA, Serbia, Spain, and France are regarded as the hot favorites to win the competition. Serbia failed twice to defeat the US in two finals, but the fact that they made it to the last stage of the previous two major competitions makes them favorites again while the Americans will be aiming to win their third consecutive Naismith trophy having won both the 2010 and 2014 editions of the tournament. It looks a safe option to bet through NY online sports betting on the chances of the USA team, however, it wouldn't be a great surprise if Serbia, France or Spain lands the Naismith trophy this year.
1- Why the 4-year-cycle changed?
Like the Olympics, the FIBA World Cup tournament used to have a 4-year-cycle but now it has been changed. The reason for this schedule switch was that the governing body FIBA didn't want to have their tournament in the same year as the FIFA World Cup.
2- FIBA World Cup and the Olympics
All the teams are doubly motivated to do well in this competition because they could also secure qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics through this tournament. Seven teams from different parts of the world could become eligible to play at the Olympics if they finish well here.
3- Who will be playing for Team USA?
The players who will be going to China is not confirmed yet. In 2018, a list of 35 players was released for the World Cup and Olympics by the USA Basketball Men's National Team. However, most of those players have pulled out from the 2019 FIBA World Cup now.
Star players Anthony Davis, James Harden, C.J. McCollum, and Eric Gordon decided not to play first, and then Tobias Harris, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, and Zion Williamson joined the list of absentees from the tournament.
Now the USA team will announce its list of 12-players on August 17 who will be heading to China.
4- Is this the best USA team?
The selected team for China will certainly not be the best USA team. They could have added star players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, and Kyrie Irving, but then all these players decided to sit out the tournament for various reasons.
However, it should be remembered that the World Cup roster, unlike the Olympic roster, have tended to feature younger players.
5- Why these star players aren't playing?
The major reason why so many star players are passing on the World Cup is because of the schedule. If they decide to play in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, then they would get very little rest before the new season starts. And then they would have Olympic duties as well in July 2020, which becomes a lot of basketball for these players.
6- Why the USA team is still the favorite?
Even without their star players, the USA is the favored team for the Naismith trophy by a wide margin. It is an incredible feat that they haven't lost a match in a major competition since the 2006 FIBA World Championship.
Serbia is regarded by many as the second favorites who were the finalists in the previous two major competitions. While the teams of Spain and France are also looking very strong.