Today’s NBA is filled with many talented players from all over the world. If you go through every team’s roster, almost every single one of them will have a foreign player on it. The growing question amongst basketball fans is who would win: Team World NBA or Team USA NBA? The answer to this question is much more complicated than it seems on the surface.
To answer the question we must compare and contrast the starting five of each team. Starting at point guard for Team USA would undeniably be Stephen Curry. He is a two time MVP winner, three time champion and has been an All-Star 6 times. He makes his teammates better and shoots 43% from three point range. Curry is considered to be the best point guard in the league.
For Team World, the starting point guard would be Ben Simmons. Simmons has already been named Rookie of the Year and been an All-Star twice in his short career. He is a 6”10 point guard which is almost unheard of in today’s NBA. He is a great on ball defender and a creative driver. However, his problem since he came into the league has been his shooting. He has only made two threes in his career, which is a major flaw in his game. Although both players are very talented, I would still give the edge to Curry, giving Team USA an edge in the point guard position.
Next we move on to the shooting guard position. For Team USA, the starter would be James Harden. Harden is the best one on one scorer the league has ever seen. He averaged 34.3 points for the Rockets last season. He is a one time MVP winner and has been an 8 time All Star. James Harden is a true phenom.
However, for Team World, Luka Doncic would start at shooting guard. Doncic is the future of the NBA. He is already one of the clutchest players in the league. Last year he practically averaged a triple double in just his second season. Doncic plays great defense and can pull up from anywhere. Although James Harden is the best scorer in the NBA, he is certainly not great at defense. He has also had many altercations over the years with multiple teammates. Doncic, on the other hand, is a leader and makes players around him better. For these reasons I believe Doncic would have more of a positive impact on a team, tying the score at 1-1.
At the small forward position we have arguably two of the best players in the league. For Team USA it would be Lebron James, one of the greatest players the league has ever seen. Entering his 18th season, Lebron hasn’t skipped a beat. He is a three time champion and has reached the finals 10 times. Lebron can play all five positions and is one of the clutchest players ever.
On the other hand, for Team World, the small forward would be back to back MVP winner, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis is the type of player that can take it to the hole whenever he likes, despite the defender. He is also able to facilitate the ball well offensively and make his teammates better.Giannis is not just an offensive force. He gets it done on both sides of the court. Believe it or not he won DPOY last season. He is a true stud. Although Giannis is one of the great players in the NBA, it is hard to say anyone in the NBA is better than Lebron James and for that reason it makes the score 2-1 to Team USA.
The power forward position is very interesting. For Team USA it would be Anthony Davis. Davis is a phenomenal player. He is a 6”10 forward who can shoot from anywhere on the court. Davis averaged close to 27 points a game last year along with 9.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. He was one of the best players in the NBA bubble and led the Lakers alongside Lebron to win the title.
For Team World, the power forward would be Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis is also a physical specimen. He is a 7”3 forward who can shoot the ball phenomenally. Porzingis averaged close to 20 points and 9.4 rebounds a game last season for the Dallas Mavericks. Unfortunately, he has suffered many devastating injuries in his short career, but whenever he makes his way onto the court he proves his significance. Although Porzingis is a great player, I don’t believe he is on the same level as Anthony Davis offensively or defensively, making the score 3-1 to Team USA.
The center position has evolved in the NBA drastically in the past decade. Centers are no longer just there to get rebounds and blocks. Most teams have centers who can shoot threes and throw down magnificent slam dunks. The center for Team USA would be Karl Anthony-Towns. Towns is one of those big men who can do it all. Last year, he averaged 27 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. He is also capable of knocking down shots from beyond the arc. Although he puts up great stats, KAT has yet to lead his team far into the playoffs. Tons of NBA analysts criticize his work ethic and leadership abilities.
For Team World Nikola Jokic would be the starting center. Jokic is considered the best center in the league by many. He has led the Nuggets to many successful seasons in the past few years, including last year when he took down the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs. Although Jokic is not the fastest or most athletic player, he is able to use his craftiness to succeed. Last season he averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. One of the most special aspects of his game is his ability to make acrobatic passes. Karly Anthony Towns is certainly one of the best Centers in the league, however he has not had nearly as much success as Nikola Jokic. He is also not as good as a leader, making the score 3-2 to Team USA.
Although Team World has some other great players on their bench like Jamal Murray, Joel Embiid and Rudy Gobert, there is no doubt that it doesn’t compare to that of Team USA. Team USA has other players that didn’t fit into the starting five like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George who are all top 8 players in the league. So, in conclusion, Team USA has much more depth than Team World.
To wrap things up, we have established that Team USA has a better starting five than Team World along with much better depth. So, the USA still has the edge over the World in today’s NBA, however as we see more and more foreign players enter the league in coming years, the answer to this question may change.