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17 March 2019, 08:14 | Anna Jefferson
Breaking down Canada’s ‘Group of Death’ draw for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup
USA Basketball were drawn in Group E alongside Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Japan for this summer's FIBA World Cup championship.
The Americans are in Group E for the tournament that begins in China on August 31. Reigning NBA MVP James Harden says he wants to play, and he's among 15 current All-Stars who are in the US player pool for this national team. Our world ranking consistently puts us in amongst the world's best teams, but basketball is one of the true global sports, with anyone in the top 50 or 60 capable of beating a top ten team on their day.
France, ranked third in the world behind top-rated US and then Spain, are in Group G with the Dominican Republic, Jordan and European rivals Germany.
The tournament format is cut throat, with the top two from each Group advancing to the round of 16 and a shot at the medals, while those finishing third and fourth will play in classification 17 to 32 matches. Third-ranked France drew the Dominican Republic, Germany and Jordan as its early opponents. "So, it's pretty awesome to be a part of it".
The U.S. will be the favorites at the World Cup.
"I think about that all the time", Popovich said.
The highest ranked team from Oceania at the World Cup will book a berth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Each team plays against the other three teams in their group once.
Group C consists of Spain, Iran, Puerto Rico and Tunisia.
The other four will reach Tokyo through qualifying tournaments over the next year. Bryant said he expects competition to be stiff.
Host China is in Group A along with Ivory Coast, Poland and Venezuela while Russia, Argentina, South Korea and Nigeria compose Group B.
"It's a greater sense of honor to be playing for your country", Bryant said. "When you start out the game, you hear your national anthem being played, you see everybody in the arena with their flags representing their country and colour, it's just such a great honour to be a part of that".
Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of the favorites to win the MVP award in the National Basketball Association, and the rest of the formidable Greeks lead Group F with New Zealand, Brazil and Montenegro.
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