In the boring summer debate about the best team in the world, FIBA has decided it is the USA.
The latest FIBA Men's World Rankings have come out and the USA is back up to No. 1 despite losing three of its final four games and finishing fourth at the FIBA World Cup this summer. How does that work exactly? FIBA said in its press release on the new rankings the USA went back on top by "benefiting from their consistency at major tournaments over the last three summers." Spain, which had been No. 1 but didn't advance out of the group stage at the World Cup, slipped to No. 2. World Cup champions Germany are up to third.
The FIBA Top 10 are:
5. Serbia (silver medalists at the World Cup)
With a LeBron James-led supercharged roster, the USA will be the betting favorites to win gold at the Paris Olympics next summer. That's the way of modern international basketball, it's hard for the Americans to win gold unless we send our very best. That said, it will be no easy feat to win gold no matter who we send. Serbia finished second at the World Cup and will add Nikola Jokic to the roster. Lithuania beat the USA and will add Domantas Sabonis to the roster. A stacked Canadian team beat the USA and will add Jamal Murray. World Cup champions Germany will be fourth.
And after the Olympics, a new FIBA Men's basketball ranking will come out and confuse us all. It's a tradition.