Spain guard Ricky Rubio believes that the United States could struggle at the World Cup of Basketball if they bring players that are not used to the FIBA rules.
This despite the fact that the USA won the 2010 world championship in Turkey with a vast amount of the team never playing under the international rules, which are different to the NBA.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, who made his international debut in 2010, won the tournament MVP.
Rubio’s team-mate at the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin Love was another one of those players that featured on the USA roster in Turkey and with the 2010 success along with the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, the United States could be even more dangerous.
But Rubio doesn’t think so.
“If the United States come to the World Cup with young players who perhaps have less FIBA experience, then they may have problems,” Rubio said.
The USA and Spain are ranked 1 and 2 respectively in the FIBA world rankings and many are expecting them to square off in the final of the tournament on September 14 in Madrid.
Rubio, who won bronze for Spain in last summer’s Eurobasket missed the NBA playoffs with the Timberwolves again this season has signaled his intent of playing this summer but knows that coach Juan Antonio Orenga has numerous options in the backcourt.
“I’m signing up for the World Cup if Juan Antonio Orenga calls me,” he said.
Spain are housed in a tricky Group A of the World Cup alongside Serbia, Brazil, France, Egypt and Iran. The tournament runs from August 30 to September 14.