Kenneth Faried has been utterly dominant for Team USA to this point of the FIBA World Cup, with his trademark energy and high level of activity being too much for opponents to handle thus far.
But what about in the tournament’s later rounds, when teams will have more size to combat Faried and Anthony Davis inside?
That’s what the conversation has centered around during the stretches of games when the shooting has gone cold, and the bigs were able to keep Team USA in the hunt with their rebounding and size advantage on the defensive end of the floor. Faried doesn’t believe it will be any different against upcoming opponents, and doesn’t appreciate the insinuation.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
Of suggestion Team USA will struggle vs. bigger teams,
@KennethFaried35 said: “Is that what’s going around? That’s totally disrespectful”
Quote even better upon hearing clearer audio. “Massively disrespectful,”
@KennethFaried35 says. “We’ll just have to see tomorrow, I guess”
Team USA faces Lithuania on Thursday, which is anchored down low by Jonas Valanciunas, who put up a 22-point, 13-rebound performance earlier in World Cup competition.
But of course, that’s not what most people are worried about.
The team from Spain has played the best and most consistent basketball of the tournament, and they feature a front line of Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol, while bringing Serge Ibaka off the bench. That’s where the discussion is rooted, and it’s being talked about not out of disrespect, but out of genuine concern for Team USA’s chances.