Gregg Popovich believes in Boomers' potential for success in World Cup
“They’re well disciplined, they’re talented, they’re seasoned and have an excellent opportunity to be very, very successful.”
This was what Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich had to say about this year's Boomers squad, ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
It's no surprise, given the abundance of legitimate NBA-level talent on the Australian roster.
Putting aside Ben Simmons and Jonah Bolden's reticence on commitment this year, the potential roster will still feature many veteran Boomers, including ones who have played in the recent Rio Olympics like Joe Ingles, Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Aron Baynes, and Andrew Bogut.
Coach Popovich was also impressed at the size of the crowds that would await Team USA, when they face off against the Boomers in August, at Marvel Stadium.
“When I found out about that (the crowd) I was just shocked at the number of people that will be there (Marvel Stadium).
“NBA players are used to playing in front of big crowds but that’s a humongous crowd, really large. It will be an amazing experience and I think it will be a lot of fun.”
The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup will tip off in China on 31 August and run through 15 September. Team USA will play two games against the Boomers in Melbourne as both teams finalise their preparation for the world championship, on Thursday 22 August (7:30 pm) and Saturday 24 August (2:00 pm).
Final World Cup rosters are yet to be confirmed, but it’s expected that both countries will be represented by their NBA stars.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers has confirmed that he will not be participating in the World Cup this year, opting for rest in the off-season.
With a record 13 Australians playing in this season’s NBA, the Boomers could feature an all-NBA line-up including:
Andrew Bogut (Golden State Warriors)
Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics)
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
Deng Adel (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Isaac Humphries (Atlanta Hawks)
Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz)
Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia 76ers)
Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Mitch Creek (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs)
Ryan Broekhoff (Dallas Mavericks)
Thon Maker (Detroit Pistons)
To date, just over 92,000 tickets have been sold for these much-anticipated games at Marvel Stadium on Thursday 22 August and Saturday 24 August.
Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster with official hospitality packages available from VIP NOW, https://www.vipnow.com.au/
USA Basketball vs. Australian Boomers in Melbourne is supported by the Victorian Government via its tourism and major events agency Visit Victoria.