Mark Tatum and Damian Lilliard acknowledge global talent has increased

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AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 09: NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum during panel discussion at SXSW on March 9, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Cisco Systems, Inc.)

The NBA season is nearing its ending, but the basketball season is far from over. The 2020 Olympics hosted in Tokyo will host the best basketball players in the world. While Team USA is a strong favorite, NBA’s Mark Tatum and Damian Lillard acknowledge the increasing global talent.

Tatum was first employed in the NBA back in 1999. Now, he works as the deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the NBA. After the USA lost two consecutive exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia, Tatum reckons that the world has progressed at basketball.

“The world is getting better, and I think that makes basketball a much more atreactive game for the world to follow. We’re happy to see that level of competition continue to grow and grow. The talent really has been democratized.

“These international palyers now are not just playing in the NBA. They are MVPs, the most improved players, defensive players of the year.”

Mark Tatum speaking on improving global basketball talent

Lillard praises the competition

After a disappointing NBA season, Lillard committed to returning the Olympic Gold to the USA. However, the USA is off to a rocky 1-2 start in exhibition games before the Olympics. The USA team had a stunning 54-2 record in all exhibition games from 1992 to 2021.

In the past, when I’ve watched Team USA win, you’d have one guy on a different team that is in the rotation in the NBA. Then, they might have a guy on the bench that’s just on a team. Now you go out there, and the whole starting five is from NBA teams and rotation players.”

Damian Lillard on international competition

Led by the NBA superstar Luka Don?i?, Slovenia will surely be one of the strongest contenders for the Olympic gold. Amongst contenders, France, Spain, and Australia. Lillard and Tatum speak on how international teams are lead by NBA MVPs and upper-echelon players, contrary to the past.

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