Sunday, August 15, 2010

International Basketball

John Marine | 8/15/2010 08:22:00 PM | |
Taking and Expanding Basketball Internationally.

(UPDATED: November 7, 2011)

The 2010 FIBA World Championship will be in Turkey. The 2012 Olympics in London will be another great stage of international basketball talent. I figured I might as well blog about international basketball and why you should care about it. The FIBA World Championship, like the Olympics, is held every four years. This year's championships will be in Turkey. The next FIBA World Championship (in 2014) is told to take place in Barcelona, Spain.

This blog entry was mostly to discuss the upcoming FIBA World Championships, but I've basically extended it to include other international basketball.


LATEST UPDATE(S):

NOV 7 2011 - edited (it needed one badly)





--- International Basketball: Why Should You Care ---

If you love the game of basketball, you obviously love everything about what makes basketball so great- dunks, fast-paced play, and things like that. The success of any industry or sport is the ability to teach the game to other nations and translate them to other nations. How do you think football (soccer to us Americans) became such an international sport? How do you think golf became an international sport? I say if you're a fan of basketball, you should watch/follow the FIBA World Championship or (more importantly) basketball in the Olympics. At least open your eyes to see that basketball is played just as hard around the world as it is here in the United States. Maybe other countries don't play with the same passion and intensity that the United States does, but at least see how other countries and teams play basketball. America was surely shocked to see the United States national team lose to teams like Greece and Lithuania (among others) a few years ago. From an American perspective, we at least know there are countries that could contend with and possibly beat us. It may seem like a cakewalk for America to run over every country in either the FIBA World Championship or in Olympic basketball, but as any sports fan should know- the better team is sometimes the team who wants it more and plays harder than the other.

Most American fans are mostly partisan with USA Basketball because we are a basketball powerhouse. While the United States is a powerhouse in basketball, don't forget that there are a host of other nations that are great basketball countries. Examples of such countries include Argentina, Spain, Croatia, France, Lithuania, Greece, China, the Philippines, and Australia. Anything is still possible in any sport.

Most American fans also, however, like calling the NBA champions as the "World Champions." One reason I love international basketball is because there is actual merit in calling the winners as "World Champions." I think you shouldn't be considered World Champions if you don't take on opposition from around the world. You can't just be both NBA champs and World champs if you just beat some international teams in exhibition play. You have to either beat international teams in an international series or in an international tournament, and the NBA is NOT an international tournament. Either the FIBA World Championship or Olympic basketball qualify as being worthy of World Champions.

So that's why you should care. Take football (soccer) for example. The United States beat top-ranked Spain 2-0 in the recent Confederations Cup leading up to the World Cup. We don't own football (soccer) like Spain does, so beating an international power brings plenty of merit and morale. You love a sport? You have a team well-equipped national team to take on and take down other nations in the same sport? You can make all the noise you want in a domestic league or an international region league, but you can NEVER feel satisfied until you take on a world audience and against the world's finest teams.



--- International Basketball in Pictures ---

This section features various pictures of international basketball action around the world from around the Internet:

Dwyane Wade USA basketball
^ from: returntomanliness.com - Dwyane Wade playing for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics.

Greek national basketall team
^ from: everyjoe.com - the Greek national team playing in FIBA competition.

Spanish national basketball team
^ from: newsgroper.com - Spain's national basketball team.

United States versus Angola basketball
^ from: rodonline.com - the United States vs. Angola at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Summer Games.

Australian national basketball team
^ from: dibf.org - the Australian national basketball team in 2005.

China versus Angola basketball
^ pictures.gi.zimbio.com - China vs. Angola.

French women national basketball team
^ from: womensbasketball-in-france.com - Girls can ball, too! This is the French women's national basketball team.



--- The 2010 FIBA World Championship Field ---

Here's the 24-team field for this year's FIBA World Championship:


--- Participating Teams ---

Direct Qualifiers...
• United States of America
• Turkey

Africa...
• Tunisia
• Angola
• Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Americas...
• United States of America (auto qualifier)
• Canada
• Puerto Rico
• Brazil
• Argentina

Asia...
• Lebanon
• Jordan
• Iran
• China

Europe...
• Spain
• France
• Germany
• Turkey (auto qualifier)
• Lithuania
• Russia
• Slovenia
• Croatia
• Serbia
• Greece

Oceania...
• Australia
• New Zealand


--- Groups ---

Group A.
• Angola
• Argentina
• Australia
• Germany
• Jordan
• Serbia

Group B.
• Brazil
• Croatia
• Iran
• Tunisia
• Slovenia
• United States of America

Group C.
• China
• Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
• Greece
• Russia
• Puerto Rico
• Turkey

Group D.
• Canada
• France
• Lebanon
• Lithuania
• New Zealand
• Spain





Having said all of this, I do pull for Team USA basketball in Turkey. The FIBA World Championship for 2010 all happens in Turkey between August 28 and September 12. For you NFL fans, don't worry... the time difference between Turkey and the United States probably won't be big enough to where you'll be able to see all of your NFL games. Good luck to all teams competing in this year's tournament.

To learn more about FIBA or the 2010 World Championship, visit fiba.com, and also visit the 2010 FIBA World Championship page. Thank you for reading!

UPDATE: Congratulations to the United States on winning the FIBA World Championship against host nation, Turkey.

Thank you for reading!

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1 comments:

John B. Marine said...

Lots of good players out there. Yao Ming is on fire.

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