The squad Team USA has sent to the 2023 FIBA World Cup was not one full of big stars, but rather young, hungry, up-and-coming players and they have done very well for themselves. The team, led by the likes of Anthony Edwards, Jalen Brunson, Tyrese Haliburton, Mikal Bridges and Austin Reaves among others, now finds themselves in the World Cup semifinals against Germany and it’s a contest that intrigues Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Pau Gasol.
Of course, Gasol is one of the greatest international players in NBA history and he has been watching this tournament closely. Obviously he isn’t happy that his native Spain has bowed out of the tournament, but he has been keeping a close eye on things and Team USA has impressed him so far.
Gasol spoke on this after recently attending a Team USA practice, saying that he believes they are rising to the occasion at the World Cup and has enjoyed seeing what Team USA is building overall, via USA Basketball:
“They have a young team, they’re also trying to figure out the FIBA game which is a little different. But they’re very versatile, they seem to be enjoying playing together, they’re rising up to the challenge. Obviously they still got a couple challenges ahead of them, but you feel a good atmosphere and it’s good to see.
“Sometimes you don’t perceive everything when you watch a game, but having the chance to watch them in practice and the atmosphere and obviously the great coaching staff that they have, the great training staff that they have, the culture that Grant Hill has taken over here with USA basketball it’s great to watch. As a guy who has done it for so long and has had to suffer a lot of battles against the USA team. I’m just glad to see it and I’m excited for the games coming up.”
It is definitely a process in building up this Team USA program with these young stars and Gasol joined Carmelo Anthony and Sue Bird in checking out the Americans practice up close, via USA Basketball:
Greatness back in the gym.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) September 7, 2023
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) September 7, 2023
It’s been a fun tournament for the Americans so far and their young players have certainly learned a lot, especially getting routine visits from legends like Gasol..
Dennis Schroder looking forward to rematch with Team USA and former Lakers teammate Austin Reaves
The German team is led by Dennis Schroder, who is now with the Toronto Raptors after a great season with the Lakers last year. Before the game, Schroder discussed how he is looking forward to this rematch with Team USA and his former teammate Austin Reaves.
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