Donovan Mitchell scored 13 points, Khris Middleton added 12 and the U.S. topped Spain 90-81 on Friday night in a warmup exhibition in advance of the FIBA World Cup that starts in China on Aug. 31. The Americans shot 55 percent from the field, 58 percent from 3-point range and held a commanding 42-20 edge in rebounds. “It was a good chance to jump in the fray and see what this is all about,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said after his official debut as Mike Krzyzewski’s replacement with the national team. “It was like a baptism for us. New group, players, coaches, all that sort of thing. It was a real experience.”
To overcome their market disadvantages and return to the postseason, the Kings are counting on Fox to be their long-awaited culture-changer. Yet Sacramento’s challenging environment is precisely why one rival executive stressed that Fox should benefit from his time with USAB Coach Gregg Popovich and his staff. “[Fox] is a great player and great kid,” the executive said. “Structure, discipline and competition are exactly what he needs.”