USA Basketball announces pre-World Cup exhibition schedule – USA TODAY
The U.S. men’s national basketball team will play five exhibition games, including four in three U.S. cities, before the FIBA World Cup in Spain this summer. And USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and USA coach Mike Krzyzewski will be going home for one of the games.
The U.S. will conduct an intrasquad scrimmage Aug. 1 in Las Vegas, play Brazil at the United Center on Aug. 16 in Chicago, the Dominican Republic Aug. 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York and Puerto Rico Aug. 22 at Madison Square Garden and conclude its pre-World Cup schedule against Slovenia on Aug. 26 in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.
The game in Chicago is a nod to Colangelo and Krzyzewski, both of whom grew up there.
The U.S. will also train in those cities prior to playing the exhibition games.
“The 2014 USA National Team tour will offer our players and coaches the opportunity to get familiar with each other and to gain critical international game experience against a variety of differing styles,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “Playing games at the Thomas & Mack Center, the United Center, Madison Square Garden and in Gran Canaria will be memorable for fans and valuable preparation for our team prior to competing in the FIBA World Cup.”
The World Cup is Aug. 30-Sept. 14 and the U.S. will play the Dominican Republic, Finland, New Zealand, Turkey and Ukraine in Group C in Bilbao.
The U.S. has won the past three major international basketball events: the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2010 world championship in Turkey and 2012 London Olympics, and the success coincides with the involvement of Colangelo and Krzyzewski. Since 2006, the U.S. is 62-1 and have not lost since the semifinals of the 2006 world championship.
Winning the 2014 World Cup won’t be easy. Spain desperately wants to win the event on home soil in what could be the last run for Spain with Pau Gasol, Jose Calderon and Juan Carlos-Navarro on a World Cup roster.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Minnesota’s Kevin Love have said they will play this summer, and it’s possible Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, James Harden and Russell Westbrook will also play.