“FIBA Has No Real Power”: Despite USA’s Heroics in World Cup, NBA Fans Dismiss the 73-Year-Old Event’s Relevance

Published 09/06/2023, 3:14 PM EDT

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While FIBA features teams from all over the globe, only teams from the US and Canada play in the NBA. Team USA, comprising mostly role players from the NBA, is also a part of the FIBA World Cup 2023. The team delivered a brilliant performance at the 2023 FIBA World Cup and is now on its way to the semifinals against Germany. With a staggering record of 5-1, the USA has proved its athletic prowess and depth. However, the glorious path was not a linear one, as it suffered one hiccup at the hands of Lithuania along the way. Despite maintaining an impressive record, the NBA fans have failed to recognize the significance of the event.

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Team USA’s heroics at the 2023 FIBA World Cup

Since its inception in 1950, FIBA has provided a platform for some of the biggest stars like Pau Gasol, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Nikola Jokic. Team USA has stunned the world by emerging victorious against most of the participating nations in the Basketball World Cup. The team cleared round 1 three for three.

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All the Records Smashed by Team USA From Their Dominant Win Against Italy at the 2023 FIBA World Cup

After a devastating six-point upset at the hands of Lithuania, the US was quick to clap back in the ensuing match against Italy. It finally secured a berth in the semifinals after handing Italy an embarrassing 100-63 defeat. It comprises mostly new drafts and role players from the NBA. Hence, NBA fans do not place a lot of emphasis on the FIBA WC as football fans do on FIFA.

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Why does FIBA receive less attention as compared to NBA?

In a recent Reddit post, a user raised questions about why FIBA is second to the NBA. The user argued that top-tier NBA players do not participate in the competition like players from other sports do. The user drew an analogy between basketball and football. FIFA is the highest governing body of football and every top player in the league wants to participate. The user wrote, In football for example, the world cup is the number one competition in terms of prestigiousness. Every football player wants to play in a mundial and also every fan watches it. On the other hand, in basketball international tournaments seem to be second-tier competitions and many top-tier NBA players avoid participating and representing their national team.

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Taking a different approach, another user commented, Because, like it or not, THE BEST, players play in the NBA. I’m not going to get into NBA VS FIBA regarding the product quality itself, but FIFA doesn’t have a private body the size of NBA to contend with.”

Similarly, a user gave his take on why the NBA is second to none, “It’s because no league comes close to the NBA, literal all the best players in basketball plays in the NBA. The 2nd best League is Euro League. Top paid in Euro league is an ex NBA player who earns 5m a year. That shows how far the NBA is. Their top paid is an Ex. NBA player and his salary is like a minimum in the NBA.

Another user pointed out that FIBA receives less media attention due to its marketing strategy. They write, Even in WC years when USA sent mega stars like 2014, the tournament got almost no attention. The problem to me clearly lies with FIBA being horrifically bad at marketing itself. Why are they doing stupid s**t like starting their own exclusive streaming service, instead of building closer relationships with the NBA, Euroleague, ESPN/ABC, TNT etc? Companies that actually can get eyes on this tournament.”

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What do you think about this? Is FIBA less popular and has a bad repo among fans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Watch this story: “Let’s Bring Home Another Gold”: Kevin Durant Echoes Draymond Green’s Voice in Support of Team USA After FIBA WC QF Win vs Italy

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Written by:

Darshita Daga

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Darshita Daga is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing Bachelor’s in English, she’s a fervent sports enthusiast with a keen interest in sports journalism, specifically covering the NBA. She feels that words have the potential to capture the spirit of a game, evaluate moves, and portray the emotions that occur both on and off the court.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja

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