NBA Rumor: FIBA 3x3

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Team USA men's squad fails to qualify for Olympics in 3x3 basketball

Team USA was upset Sunday by the Netherlands in the 3×3 basketball Olympic qualifying tournament in Graz, Austria, failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The 21-16 defeat in the quarterfinals eliminated the Americans from getting one of the three bids available for the Olympics. It was a surprise defeat for Team USA, which won the last 3×3 World Cup in 2019 and is the No. 2-ranked team in the world behind Serbia. The Americans went 3-1 in pool play to enter the medal round as a top seed.

The Tokyo Games will mark the first time 3×3 basketball will be staged at an Olympics, and the field is tight, with just eight countries winning berths. Team USA failed to earn an automatic berth in 2019 despite its World Cup victory because 3×3 Olympic spots are determined differently than in the 5×5 competition, where the World Cup champs gain automatic entry. FIBA, the international governing body of the sport, is saving one spot in Tokyo for countries that didn’t have a 5×5 team qualify for the 2012 or 2016 Olympics as it tries to grow the game in countries that previously haven’t exceled. But it made qualifying even tougher for Team USA. Joey King, who played at Minnesota, led Team USA Sunday with eight points in the loss (in 3×3, baskets are worth 1 point and shots behind the line are worth 2). King averaged a team-best 7.8 points per game.

Barry, 27, is the youngest son of Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry, and half brother to Brent and Jon. Like Hummel, Barry has experience as an American pro, and is currently a member of the Iowa Wolves of the G League. He has the least 3-on-3 experience on Team USA, having not picked up the game until 2019, when he was invited to try out through his mother, Lynn, a standout college player and former USA Basketball executive. Canyon shoots free throws underhanded, like his famous father, and made all 21 foul shots he took during G League bubble play this year. “I honestly think I am a better 3-on-3 player than I am a 5-on-5 player,” Barry said. “I’m never going to say, ‘No, I don’t want to play in the NBA,’ but I think being able to kind of create something new, with this 3-on-3, and kind of be a pioneer in the U.S. and see it take off here and kind of be known for that would be super exciting.”

Maddox, 31, is a 6-8, 220-pound Princeton graduate who led the Tigers in scoring (13.8 points per game) and rebounds (7.0) as a senior in 2010-11. He played professionally overseas, like all of his Team USA mates, and he was the MVP of the American national championship for 3-on-3 in 2018. Maddox has a second career in media. He’s hosted a show on Colorado Public Radio and worked as a podcast producer for Gimlet media until January 2020, when he quit to train for the Olympics. He says he wants to become the “Black Anthony Bourdain,” continuing to play in 3-on-3 tournaments and use the travel opportunities to make travel documentaries, and he’s developing a new podcast about the Olympics that was picked up by NBC. “I think what we have is the opportunity to cement our names in whatever the sport ultimately ends up becoming,” he said. “I hope it becomes something cool.”
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