Team USA will begin their quest for a gold medal in the FIBA World Cup with their first game of pool play against New Zealand on Saturday. Despite the sterling undefeated record through exhibition play and their status as favorites heading into the tournament, head coach Steve Kerr makes sure to remind his squad that they aren't the 1992 Dream Team and have plenty of work to do, reports The Athletic's Joe Vardon.
“I know we're one of them [favorites] and we should be, but there's some great teams. The last time through this tournament, we finished seventh, we lost (two) games. We recognize how hard this is. These are not the days of 1992.”
“There's a reason there's over a hundred foreign players in the NBA. There's a reason foreign guys win MVP year after year. It's a global game, and there's great teams. So, we may be one of the favorites, but I don't think anybody's clear cut. I think there's a lot of teams that have a shot at this thing.”
Kerr compares this current Team USA and FIBA World Cup field to the 1992 Team USA squad that earned the moniker of the Dream Team, emphasizing that this is a much more global game nowadays with talent across the world. He indicates that Team USA has to come in ready to compete, and if they don't, they will finish similarly to how they did during the last FIBA World Cup when they took seventh place.
Tune in on Saturday as the FIBA World Cup gets underway for Team USA and Steve Kerr vs. New Zealand. There is no doubt that they will need to come out hungry from the start if they want to win the gold medal this year.