After losing to Serbia, Team USA can finish no higher than seventh at the FIBA World Cup, their worst finish ever at a FIBA World Championship/World Cup.
Their previous worst finish was sixth place in 2002.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kobe Bryant believes that the rest of the world has finally caught up to the United States in basketball.
Bryant said that Team USA is no longer assured of winning when it takes the court, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
“It’s not a matter of the rest of the world catching up to the U.S., it’s that the rest of the world has been caught up for quite some time,” Bryant said.
“And it’s to the point now where us in the U.S. are going to win some, we’re going to lose some. And that’s just how it goes.”
Bryant also thinks that even if some of the stars return to Team USA for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to seek a fourth straight gold medal, it still won’t be easy for them.
“So I say that to say, put the best players that you think makes the best U.S. team out there on the floor and we are still going to have challenges. It’s not going to be a cakewalk.”