Team USA Rumors
The devastation wreaked by Hurricane Maria will force Puerto Rico to move its World Cup basketball qualifying game next month against the United States, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation. Talks between the Puerto Rican national basketball federation and U.S.A. Basketball to move the game to Orlando, Fla., were continuing as of Monday afternoon.
American big man Jameel Warney has been named MVP of the FIBA AmeriCup. The NBA G League alum led Team USA to the final victory against Argentina with 21 points and 7 rebounds. He averaged 12.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in the tournament. FIBA also released the All-AmeriCup First Team: Facundo Campazzo (Argentina). Francisco “Paco” Cruz (Mexico). Nicolás Brussino (Argentina). Darrun Hilliard (USA). Jameel Warney (USA).
Jeff Van Gundy has studied everything available to him to understand what awaits him and the NBA Development League players in these coming FIBA qualifying events. Yes, he has studied everything and come to a conclusion. “I told myself, ‘You better get your s— together and not f— this up,” Van Gundy said. “You better be ready.”
He has loved reading up on his players’ stories. Mostly, they’re castoffs, forgotten and never-weres. Yet, they’re postponing reporting to training camps — in the States and abroad — to play for this national team. They’re paid $100 a day for the three-week AmeriCup commitment, and $75 per diem. Ford, Rosas, the Miami Heat’s Adam Simon and the Brooklyn Nets’ Trajan Langdon worked months assembling the roster with Van Gundy. They had commitments and decommitments. USA Basketball had a hard time selling this tournament process, and perhaps a harder job selling the timing. For agents, sending your player to the AmeriCup is tantamount to an admission to a client that they were unable to get them an NBA job.