In preparation for the 2018 FIBA World Cup, Cade Cunningham was without a doubt one of the top players for Team USA and the US Select Teams in practice games.
The child and his Select Team excelled to the point where they twice defeated the USA Team in scrimmages.
Some have questioned this, wondering why Cunningham wasn’t on the A team from the beginning for the FIBA world cup.
The 21-year-old’s season-ending shin injury from the previous year has caused him to put more emphasis on making his body healthy, he said.
“They go over and there’s so much traveling, there’s so much, you know, like real schedule, like team practice and everything,” Cade Cunningham told The Athletic. “I wanted to dedicate my summer to really make sure that as an individual, I was ready for the season coming up physically and mentally. I think that was really the deciding factor. I didn’t want to join the Team USA World Cup team and still have to go to rehab and not fully be a part of everything that was going on.
“I know everybody that’s on the team is ready to go 100 percent. That’s why I wanted to be on the select team, to be a part of it but also you know keep my summer and keep my routine going.” – Cade Cunningham
The point guard for the Pistons was injured after just 12 games in the 2023–23 season, which prevented him from fully building on his strong rookie performance.
Other members of the USA team, including Tyrese Haliburton, Brandon Ingram, and Cam Johnson, missed portions of the previous NBA season but are expected to participate when the team plays New Zealand on August 26 in their opening FIBA match.