France eliminated Team USA from the 2019 FIBA World Cup 89-79 on Wednesday, ending the United States’ run of five straight major international tournament titles.
A big story entering the World Cup was the lack of superstar players suiting up for Team USA. Names like LeBron James, James Harden and Anthony Davis opted to skip the event, among many other top tier NBA talents. However, Paul Pierce believes that Team USA, regardless of who was playing, should have made a deeper run at the World Cup.
“All the superstar players, they dropped out,” Pierce said. “But at the same time, we’re held at a certain standard no matter who puts that jersey on. We should at least be able to get to the medal rounds.”
Paul was a part of the 2002 Team USA that also lost in the FIBA World Cup, and he cited a similar lack of superstars as a cause of that. But another big reason for this year’s disappointing result is that the rest of the world is catching up with their talent.
France’s roster boasted several NBA players, including Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier, who played huge roles in taking down Team USA.