The center of interest is the US team, which experienced a low point at the World Cup four years ago when it finished seventh. Winning coach Steve Kerr, who coaches the Golden State Warriors on a daily basis, must make America “great again” and lead them back to the world title after 2014. Big names like LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry are wasted on the American team, and a group of youngsters will have to do it. Defending champions Spain narrowly defeated Argentina in the final in Beijing in 2019.
Kerr can’t hide that the World Cup in the US is far less important than the Olympics. This is one of the reasons why many leading stars gave the 57-year-old a basket. With the Olympics in Paris next year, some people don’t want to play in the summer before then.
Basketball as therapy
Kerr has a special relationship with Asia. Michael Jordan’s former Chicago Bulls teammate was born in Beirut, Lebanon, where his father, Malcolm Kerr, was a political scientist specializing in the Middle East. In 1984, when Steve Kerr was already studying in America, Malcolm Kerr was killed in an attack by radical Islamists. A shock that fundamentally changed the young man’s life. “Basketball was the only thing I could do to take my mind off what was going on,” he once explained. “I don’t know what else to do.”
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