USA men’s basketball loses No. 1 FIBA ranking, Spain overtakes top spot

USA Basketball can no longer claim the world men’s top spot.

FIBA, the sport’s governing body, announced new rankings on Friday, which placed Spain in the No. 1 slot. USA Basketball slipped to second place. This marks the first time the U.S. has not been top-ranked since 2010, the year the team brought home the FIBA world title.

“It’s not exactly a new title and it probably can’t be maintained for too long, but it’s something so unique, prestigious and historic that I feel tremendously proud of everyone who … contributed to it,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo tweeted Friday.

FIBA’s rankings underwent a change in 2017 and now take the results from the most recent eight years into consideration.

The adjustments mean Team USA can no longer live off things such as the 2014 World Cup championship, but more recent successes, such as the gold medal won in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, still factor into the rankings.

The U.S. finished seventh at the 2019 World Cup.


The most recent World Cup saw Spain come out on top.

Spain also added to its résumé by winning the 2022 EuroBasket title. Its lead over the U.S. men’s team is slim, with the Americans only trailing by 1.1 points.

Canada's Jean-Victor Mukama dunks as teammate Owen Klassen and Panama's Eric Romero, center, look on during FIBA World Cup qualifiers action in Edmonton, Alberta, on Sunday.

The rest of the top 10 remained the same.

Australia is third, followed by Argentina, France, Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Greece and Italy.

Kevin Durant, left, talks with teammate Damian Lillard during the men's basketball semifinal between the United States and Australia at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Saitama, Japan, on Aug. 5, 2021.

On the women’s side, the U.S. maintained the top spot by a wide margin. China remained the second-ranked team, trailing the U.S. by almost 200 points.

The women’s team dominated at the most recent World Cup and brought home the gold medal.

FIBA’s latest rankings include the men’s national teams from 164 countries and 118 women’s national teams.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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