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FIBA World Cup helped NBA players get in perfect shape heading into new season, says exec

MANILA, Philippines — The NBA is likely to see more good games earlier on in the new season set to tip off next week after multiple players saw action in the 2023 FIBA World Cup earlier this year.

According to NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, playing in high-level competition so close into the new season has helped players reach their peak earlier than they would’ve in a non-World Cup year.

“We had a ton of NBA players playing over in the World Cup, and what a great experience that was. The Philippines is one of our most passionate fan bases and the competition were hold not only in the Philippines, but in Indonesia and Japan as well,” Tatum told the media last Wednesday, in a press conference prior to this week’s season tip-off.

In the World Cup, a whopping 55 current NBA players saw action across 27 teams in the 32-team competition — including the Philippines’ very own Jordan Clarkson.

Outside Team USA, squads like Australia (nine), Canada (seven) and world champion Germany (four) have multiple NBA players on their roster.

“Obviously, Germany, with their NBA players, and led by Dennis Schroder, had an incredible performance and an incredible competition,” said Tatum.

Already in playing shape with the competition, Tatum believes that they players who saw action in the World Cup will have no problems finding their rhythm in the regular season tipping off on October 24 (October 25, Manila time).

“What I see, quite frankly, and I saw it with some of the players in training camp now is that they’ve come in in great shape, because they’re in playing shape and they’ve played in a high-level competition, a World Cup here in the last six weeks or so, and they look good,” said Tatum. 

“They were in sort of, mid-season form if you will heading into the season and I think that’s gonna create some exciting basketball early on in the season.”

Among the biggest names who competed in the World Cup were superstars like Schroder, Luka Doncic, RJ Barrett, Lauri Markkanen, Mikal Bridges, Anthony Edwards and Paolo Banchero.

The opening day of the 2023-24 NBA season features a double-header between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers, and the Golden State Warriors and