It all ends Sunday at an hour that few will see. Team USA and Canada will battle for the bronze medal at 4:30 a.m. on ESPN2. That wasn’t the plan for the two teams with the heaviest NBA presence. They had hoped to be in the game that starts at 8:30, the gold medal game. That time now is reserved for Germany vs. Serbia.
While fans will have a hard time getting up, players may have an even harder time and it has nothing to do with the schedule. The disappointment has to be tough to overcome. Of course, the bronze medal is still a big deal. After all, when Cup play started, there were 32 teams. Also, Canada is looking for its highest finish ever in the World Cup and the U.S. is trying to avoid going home empty-handed.
There will be lot of New York basketball to watch. Team USA has two Nets players in Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson and two Knicks, Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart while Canada features R.J. Barrett.
Once the game is over and the medals dispensed, Bridges, Johnson and whatever front office types remain in Manila will head home to join their teammates who are already gathering at HSS Training Center. Expect some news of signings later this week, starting with Egypt’s Patrick Gardner who averaged 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and shooting splits of 47/32/74 in Cup play.
Live stats can be found here.
WHO: Team USA vs. Canada.
WHEN: 4:30 a.m. ET