FIBA World Cup is Here to Fend Off Basketball Jones
Yes, college football season started this week, but if you’re a basketball fan who just can’t wait for the NBA exhibition season to begin in early October. Help is on the way, though, because the FIBA World Cup of Basketball starts this weekend to help tide you over for at least a while.
The FIBA World Cup is the hoops equivalent of soccer’s World Cup. The tournament, which starts Saturday and ends September 14 in Spain, is not yet the big event that soccer’s World Cup has become, but it’s growing in popularity worldwide. It’s considered more important in some parts of the world than the Olympics.
It’s also important because the team that wins does not have to play through qualifying rounds for the 2016 Olympic Games, lessening the wear and tear on that international team. The 12 members selected to compete for Team USA are centers DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), and Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets); power forward/center Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); forwards Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets), Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings), and DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); guards Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), James Harden (Houston Rockets), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).
A variety of other NBA players – including Pau and Marc Gasol for the host team, Spain – will be representing their countries, too. Orlando Magic fans might want to tune in to as many of France’s games as possible to learn a little about one of their team’s offseason acquisitions. Guard Evan Fournier, who the Magic acquired in the trade of Arron Afflalo back to the Denver Nuggets, is on the French team. So is Pacers backup center Ian Mahinmi. Indiana power forward Luis Scola plays for Argentina.
ESPN holds the primary broadcast rights to the FIBA World Cup in the United States, but NBA TV also will carry some games. The following are when the pool-play games are scheduled to be broadcast in the United States over the next week. All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and the start times are approximate, based on when the previous games end.
August 30, 2014
Argentina vs. Puerto Rico, 11:30 a.m. EDT, on ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
France vs. Brazil, noon EDT, on NBA TV
Finland vs. USA, 3:30 p.m. EDT, on ESPN (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
August 31, 2014
Argentina vs. Croatia, 7:30 a.m. EDT, on NBA TV
Serbia vs. France, 9:30 a.m. EDT, on NBA TV
Mexico vs. Slovenia, 11:30 a.m. EDT, on ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Brazil vs. Iran, noon EDT, on NBA TV
USA vs. Turkey, 3:30 p.m. EDT, on ESPN (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
September 1, 2014
Argentina vs. Philippines, 11:30 a.m. EDT, on NBA TV
Puerto Rico vs. Greece, 2 p.m. EDT, on NBA TV
Brazil vs. Spain, 4 p.m. EDT, on NBA TV
September 2, 2014
New Zealand vs. USA, 11:30 a.m. EDT, on ESPN2 (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Korea vs. Slovenia, 2 p.m. EDT, on NBA TV
September 3, 2014
Mexico vs. Australia, 7:30 a.m. EDT, on NBA TV
Puerto Rico vs. Philippines, 7:30 a.m. EDT, on ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Serbia vs. Brazil, noon EDT, on NBA TV
USA vs. Dominican Republic, 3:30 p.m. EDT, on ESPN2 (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
September 4, 2014
Brazil vs. Egypt, 9:30 a.m. EDT, on NBA TV
USA vs. Ukraine, 11:30 a.m. EDT, on ESPN2 (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish) (In some markets Puerto Rico vs. Croatia may be broadcast at noon EDT instead.)
Serbia vs. Spain, 4 p.m. EDT, on NBA TV
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