World Cup Rumors
With the help of Yao Ming, China won the right to host the 2019 Basketball World Cup. China beat out the Philippines in a vote at a FIBA meeting in Tokyo on Friday. “We talked openly about everything” said Kings VP of Basketball and Franchise Operations Vlade Divac of the meeting between DeMarcus Cousins, George Karl, Assistant GM Mike Bratz and himself in Las Vegas earlier this week. “I was very happy and excited about the (upcoming) season.”
He is not a big fan of the change of World Cup format, which will see the tournament moved from 2018 to 2019 as FIBA seeks to get out from the shadow of soccer’s World Cup, which is also played in even-numbered, non-Olympic years. The FIBA tournament will be in Asia. “They say change is always good, but I don’t think in this case,” Colangelo said. “We had this thing cranked up so well, the format that we had every two years, Olympics then championship, was very comfortable for us. So FIBA, in its desire to become bigger and more influential in the world basketball scene, went to this new format and the NBA bought into it. And it is what it is. So, you adjust.”
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is the only high-profile player to date to publicly state his intent to skip the minicamp, telling CBS Sports Radio recently that he sees little point in trying to earn a spot on the Rio roster after being omitted from USAB’s 12-man squad at last summer’s inaugural FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao will travel to Japan next month to lend a hand as the Philippines bids against China to host the 2019 basketball World Cup. Manuel V. Pangilinan, the president of the Basketball Federation of the Philippines, said Friday that Pacquiao will be among Filipino government officials and business executives who will try to persuade FIBA to award the hosting of the tournament to the Philippines.
Some players from the Philadelphia 76ers visited you last summer when you were playing with Croatia at the World Cup in Spain. How did that feel? Dario Saric: That meant so much to me. Three top players came to Spain to support me and support my team. The coach (Brett Brown) came too. It was a big thing for me that people from the team that selected me came to support me, that they had my back like that. It made playing easier for me and didn’t feel any additional pressure.