FIBA announced sweeping changes to the schedule for the World Cup of Basketball, formerly known as the World Championships, that will take place after the next World Cup in 2014. FIBA hopes the changes will appeal to NBA teams concerned about players taking part in annual summer competitions, according to The Associated Press, but Tom Ziller of SB Nation writes that the new schedule could make it more difficult for NBA players to participate in the World Cup, since qualification will take place during the season.
After the 2014 competition, the next World Cup will be in 2019, with the field increased from 24 teams to 32. Qualification for the 2019 World Cup will be held in November 2017, and in February, June, September and November of 2018, with a final period set for February 2019. Qualification will take place in a home-and-home format, allowing each team to play in front of its own fans.
Teams will qualify for the 2020 Olympics via the 2019 World Cup and separate tournaments in each of FIBA's four geographic zones. In the past year, NBA commissioner David Stern has expressed a desire to make the World Cup the primary international stage for basketball, and the league has pushed for an age limit that would curb NBA participation in the Olympics.