Jerry Colangelo: Injury-Free Team USA Would Have Won FIBA World Cup


It’s been days since Team USA’s shocking but not too shocking fall at the FIBA World Cup and observers are still sorting through the wreckage of the world’s dominant team finishing a lowly seventh in the tournament.

The prevailing sentiment is that a large amount of dropouts cost the team its usual overwhelming talent advantage. The team’s composition was also questionable, lacking the big man depth needed for more physical international play. And there could be the possibility the world is simply catching up as basketball becomes a global sport.

The man in charge of the whole operation seems to have a different theory.

USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix that a healthy Team USA would have won the World Cup:

“I believe that if we didn’t have those injuries, we would have won,” said Colangelo. “The injuries were just too much to absorb.”

Colangelo isn’t wrong that Team USA dealt with a notable amount of injuries. Kyle Kuzma missed the final roster with an ankle injury. Marcus Smart never seemed 100 percent due to a calf injury. Jayson Tatum missed the second half of the tournament with another ankle injury.

On the other hand, even if you’re high on the abilities of those three young players, missing Kyle Kuzma, Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum shouldn’t cost you the tournament if you’re Team USA.

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