Thursday, the Associated Press reported via ESPN that Team USA had named its captains for the upcoming FIBA World Cup. The captains included two Boston Celtics players, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart, as well as Utah’s Donovan Mitchell.
Friday, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that Team USA had actually not named the team captains. Stein reports that Popovich was just speaking about how he relied on the leadership of the players in question.
Point of clarification: There was a report in Australia this week that Gregg Popovich had formally named Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell and Marcus Smart as Team USA captains. But I am told it is NOT an official thing — Pop merely meant he is leaning on those guys for leadership
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 23, 2019
Team USA beat Team Australia 102-86 in an exhibition game in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday. Walker finished with a team high 23 points, while Mitchell added an additional 13. Smart did not play as he is recovering from a calf injury suffered during Team USA training camp earlier this month. Celtics forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum both finished with 11 points.
Team USA will play their first game of the FIBA World Cup on Sunday, Sept. 1 against the Czech Republic.