The United States men’s basketball team is in the final phase of its tune-up for the upcoming World Cup. Currently, the team is in Australia, where it’s holding a pair of exhibitions — including a win against the Aussies on Thursday — and training prior to making the trip to China for the tournament.
Gregg Popovich has to make one more cut to the roster, as there are 13 players with the squad right now and only 12 can head to the World Cup. It does seem safe to assume, though, that Kemba Walker gave us a glimpse of three total locks to make the squad, as the new Boston Celtics standout revealed the three players who will serve as captains.
Walker, per A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, told reporters that he’s been selected to captain the squad. Alongside him are Utah Jazz standout Donovan Mitchell, and one of his new teammates in Boston, Marcus Smart. They all make sense: Walker might be the team’s best player, Mitchell is an up-and-coming star and has shown his leadership abilities in Utah, and Smart, though he has been dealing with an injury, brings an edge that any basketball team could use and is an all-time “his teammates love him but opponents hate him” guy.
The Americans will begin their World Cup campaign on Sept. 1 when they take on the Czech Republic in group play.