NBA players and rising prospects make their prediction picks for World Cup podium
MIES (Switzerland) - The Draw for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 on 29 April 2023 is approaching quickly, which means that teams will soon know their paths to the podium of the flagship event.
Only 3 teams can end up at the podium once the dust settles and so far in the history of the competition, only a handful of teams have been able to do so.
There was a variety of opinions expressed at the NBA All-Star Weekend by players interviewed by the NBA about which countries would finish in the top three when the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 is played this year in Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.
Some are betting on new countries to claim a medal for the first time. Eleven countries got votes and a three favorites emerged from this ballot. USA, France and Spain.
NBA All-Star Weekend Player prediction picks for countries to reach World Cup 2023 podium
|Kenneth Lofton Jr||🥇||🥈||🥉|
The Americans have won five World Cups in their history, including two of the last three. While the USA lost in the Quarter-Finals in 2019 to France, the country bounced back with an Olympic gold medal triumph in Tokyo. No matter who is in the team, the USA will be a force.
Les Bleus reached the podium at each of the last two FIBA Basketball World Cups, were silver medalists at the Tokyo Olympics and runners-up at a star-studded FIBA EuroBasket 2022. Still searching for their first world title, this could be the year that an incredibly talented France team that's likely to have Rudy Gobert and Victor Wembanyama, achieves glory.
Even after a generational change, Spain have been so good that it has climbed to the top of the FIBA World Ranking. Not only did the team coached by Sergio Scariolo win the second world title in the country's history in 2019 when Ricky Rubio was the tournament MVP, it prevailed in one of the most competitive FIBA EuroBaskets ever staged last year.
Rest of the best
No one should discount the possibilities of other countries that NBA players mentioned above. Canada, Australia and Serbia have multiple players in the league that will help make their countries dangerous, just as Giannis Antetokoumpo (Greece), Luka Doncic (Slovenia), Lauri Markkanen (Finland) and Dennis Schroder (Germany) will do for their respective national teams. And even China, with Aleksandar Djordjevic at the helm, will be a very competitive team.