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Watch Live: Team USA vs. Jordan, 4:40 a.m. ET on ESPN2


Team USA exits group play Wednesday at the FIBA World Cup in Manila with a predawn (New York time) game vs. Jordan and the Cup’s breakout star who Nets fans remember well, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

The U.S. has now won seven straight, five “friendlies” and the first two games of group play, vs. New Zealand and Greece. The Americans have already clinched the second round and will play Lithuania or Montenegro this weekend. Both are led by physical NBA centers in Jonas Valančiūnas and Nikola Vucevic.

Hollis-Jefferson, who was drafted by Brooklyn in 2015 and lasted till Nets opted not to make him a qualifying offer in 2019. That made him an unrestricted free agent. He played two more seasons with Toronto and Portland before moving overseas to play professionally in Turkey, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, ultimately becoming a free agent this summer. On July 24, hoping to jumpstart his career, Hollis-Jefferson was contracted by the Jordan Basketball Federation to play for the national team as a naturalized player.

It’s worked ... so far. In the Jordanians’ first two games, RHJ scored 24, then 39, hitting a jumper to send the second game, vs. New Zealand, into overtime. Jordan lost both contests, but Hollis-Jefferson, still only 28, has been called a Kobe Bryant “clone,” mainly because of his 6’6” physique, new, more spare look and his ability to come up big in big moments ... as he did more than on one occasion with the Nets. He spoke about how not having an NBA roster spot — but a young son — changed his mentality...

As ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote this week, “Hollis-Jefferson has undergone a striking life and career renaissance that could’ve been in a Kobe System Nike ad, beginning to look and even play like the Los Angeles Lakers great.” Will his performance in Manila lead to a new gig in the NBA? He has a chance, but most teams rosters are full or close to full.

Mikal Bridges is likely to given the assignment of guarding Hollis-Jefferson (on his 27th birthday.) It will make for an interesting match-up.

Live stats for the game will be available here.

WHO: Team USA vs. Jordan

WHEN: 4:40 a.m. ET

WHERE: ESPN2 and Courtside1891, the official streaming service of the FIBA World Cup.