Basketball has grown exponentially in popularity over the past 50 years and is now the second most popular sport on the planet. As a result, the global talent pool continues to expand, and American dominance is no longer a foregone conclusion.

However, Team USA has won seven of the last eight gold medals in men’s basketball. When the Americans manage to assemble a team full of their best superstars, they are still hard to beat.

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After a five-year hiatus, EuroBasket returned this month and gave the best European basketball teams a chance to compete for one of the most coveted honors in basketball.

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But the tournament also provided the basketball world with a chance to rethink the power structure in European basketball ahead of two major upcoming global tournaments: the 2023 FIBA ​​World Cup and the 2024 Summer Olympics.

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The US team remains the leader on the international stage, but the gap between the US program and other national teams continues to narrow. Just three years ago, the US men’s team finished seventh at the FIBA ​​World Championship, a previously unthinkable result.

And while the US team has always focused more on the Olympics than the World Cup, there are a number of teams that could potentially threaten the Americans’ return to the top of the medal standings both next year in Manila and 2024 in doubles.