World Cup Notes: Brooks, Field Size, Olympic Qualifier, Bogdanovic

Dillon Brooks‘ NBA season didn’t end well, as LeBron James and the Lakers dismissed the Grizzlies in the playoffs. The offseason has gone a lot better. Brooks signed a lucrative contract with the Rockets, then he played well enough to earn Best Defensive Player honors at the FIBA World Cup, Sportando tweets.

Brooks, who played for bronze medalist Canada, enjoys his reputation as a villian, according to Aris Barkas of

“It’s just a persona. People love him, I have grown to love him myself. It’s like Kobe created Black Mamba. That’s my persona but only on the court. I love my kids, my family, my teammates,” Brooks said.

We have more tidbits from the World Cup:

  • FIBA is pleased with how an expanded field has led to more parity and unpredictability, according to The Associated Press. FIBA expanded the World Cup field to 32 teams in 2019, while 80 teams took part in the qualification process leading up to 2023’s event. “Parity is good,” FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis said. “It’s good because it means competitiveness. It is excellent if it comes together with a higher level of play all the time. What we have achieved is we have reached a greater depth in the roster of countries. Nine of the 32 that came to this World Cup did not play in the previous World Cup.”
  • FIBA plans to announce the hosts of the four FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments at the end of November, relays. Those tournaments, which will determine the last four qualifiers for the Paris Olympics, will be held in early July.
  • Hawks swingman and Serbia’s Bogdan Bogdanovic helped lead his national team to a silver medal for the second time, having accomplished the feat in 2014 as well. He’s hoping to get at least one gold medal before his international career is through, according to George Efkarpides of “I was second once. I’ll be happy to get the gold as well. To finish the tournament with a win,” he said. “Unfortunately, sometimes luck is not on your side. We missed some shots, we missed some opportunities. That’s the game of basketball. That’s how it works.”
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