LeBron James concedes ‘the rest of the world is better’ after Team USA’s poor World Cup showing
Team USA placed a lowly seventh in this year’s FIBA World Cup after numerous stars backed out of participation. Team USA was still the favorite entering the tournament, but most believe the poor showing was because of the weakened roster.
However, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James doesn’t buy that narrative. The three-time NBA champ believes the rest of the world is getting better and that fielding the best of the best doesn’t automatically mean they’ll come out on top:
“No,” Lakers star LeBron James argued after practice on Saturday, per Mark Medina of USA TODAY Sports. “It doesn’t because you still have to go out there and work and play the game. But it does strengthen our team and it does give us a very good chance going into the worlds if we were all to do that.”
“The rest of the world is better,” James said. “But we continue to get better as well as Americans.”
Several top-tier stars such as LeBron’s Lakers teammate Anthony Davis, Houston Rockets superstar James Harden, and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard withdrew their commitments for this year’s FIBA tournament.
They were just three of the parade of players who backed out for Team USA. Most, if not, all of those who dropped out decided to put their focus instead for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
Following Team USA’s poor showing in the World Cup, many of these stars, including LeBron James and Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, have expressed their desire to potentially represent the flag in the Olympics next year in Tokyo.
Nevertheless, there is still a whole NBA season to be played from here until that point. James and the Lakers will put their focus on a championship run this season.