Photo: USA Basketball/X screenshot

In less than two hours, the hardwood battle between Team USA and Canada in the FIBA World Cup bronze medal game will commence.

Both North American neighbors, having fallen to European powerhouses in the semi-finals – Germany and Serbia, respectively – are set to determine who returns home adorned with a medal.

Canada boasts a significant NBA presence, with seven players on their roster, a number that could have been even higher if not for the absence of talents like Jamal Murray and Andrew Wiggins.

Currently, over 20 Canadian players grace the NBA, potentially forming an all-NBA roster. This abundance of talent has sparked anticipation of a burgeoning rivalry.

Team USA guard Tyrese Haliburton thinks this is the case. “They haven’t won a medal since the 1930s, so they’re coming for us. I think both of our countries will expect to see each other for the coming years. So it seems like this is kind of the start,” he said, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Haliburton’s sentiments reflect the notion that the Canadians, who haven’t secured a medal for nearly a century, are poised to challenge their American counterparts.

As both nations increasingly produce top-tier basketball talent, the stage is set for fierce competition in the years to come. The perennial favorite, Team USA, faces an emerging Canadian squad, igniting the spark of a potential basketball rivalry.

The bronze medal showdown between these North American powerhouses is not only about the immediate honor but also the dawn of a new era in international basketball, as Team USA and Canada’s encounters gain prominence on the global stage.