Paris Olympics

Olympic champion Team USA has to ‘come to play’ in Paris


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Olympic champion Team USA has to ‘come to play’ in Paris

GUNNER. Kevin Durant of the United States celebrates after scoring a basket against France in the Tokyo Olympics.

Brian Snyder/REUTERS

Carmelo Anthony, who helped Team USA win three Olympic gold medals, says the Americans need to be prepared as they try to defend their throne in the Paris Games

MIES, Switzerland – The USA men’s basketball team, the reigning Olympic champions, will have to “come to play” at the Paris Games where hosts France will be eager to dethrone the 16-time gold medal winners, former NBA star Carmelo Anthony said on Tuesday, March 19 (Wednesday, March 20, Manila time).

The United States will face a strong Serbia team, first-time Olympians South Sudan, and the winners of a qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico in July in the Olympic tournament’s Group C after the draw was made at the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) headquarters in Switzerland.

“As a country, as Americans, we understand that we have to come to play,” said Anthony, who helped the US to three Olympic gold medals and spent most of his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks.

“It’s in France. France has a really, really good team. They’re going to be trying to protect their home court and do what they have to do for their own fans and their own country. It’s going to be exciting.”

France – which lost the final to the United States by 5 points at the Tokyo Games in 2021 and is still seeking an Olympic title after finishing second three times – will face Germany, Japan, and the winner of a qualifying tournament in Latvia in Group B.

Four slots in the men’s draw have been reserved for the winners of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that will be held July 2-7 in Latvia’s Riga, Valencia in Spain, Piraeus in Greece, and Puerto Rico’s San Juan.

In the women’s tournament, the United States – the nine-time Olympic champions which like its male counterparts won gold at the Tokyo Games – will play Germany, Japan, and Belgium in the group stage.

“They’re at the pinnacle of the game,” Penny Taylor, who helped Australia win Olympic silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Games, said of the Americans.

“I think every group has their level of difficulty. But I think obviously the USA, Belgium, and Japan in one group, that’s a challenge.” –

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