Team USA took the next step toward getting ready for the FIBA World Cup when it hit the court on Monday for its first exhibition game.
It played against Puerto Rico, which is not exactly a basketball powerhouse. Team USA turned things on as the contest wore on, outscoring its opponent 67-31 over the final 20 minutes and notching an easy 117-74 win. It is hoping to rebound from a disastrous showing in the last FIBA World Cup and bring home the gold this time.
This tournament is an immense opportunity for Los Angeles Lakers standout Austin Reaves. He had a modest showing on Monday with nine points, four rebounds and four assists, but LeBron James still tweeted his approval of his teammate’s performance.
Team USA’s next exhibition game will take place this Saturday versus Slovenia.
Reaves responds to James’ tweet
After the game, Reaves was informed of James’ tweet, and he showed some love for the four-time MVP in return.
“Yeah, that’s my guy,” Reaves said. “You know, I’ve learned a lot from him over the past two years and it feels good when he kind of validates that you can actually play. So, it’s been a special two years and hopefully, we can go win a championship this year.”
The FIBA World Cup will officially kick off on Aug. 25.