ARTICLE BY MONCH PALU-AY
Unlike its coaching staff, which boast three NBA champion coaches in Steve Kerr, Erik Spoelstra and Ty Lue, Team USA has only one NBA champion in its player roster. Bobby Portis won a championship with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021, alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo. He was a big reason why the Bucks won it all with the intagibles that he brought to his NBA team.
As a member of Team USA, Portis is one of the oldest and most experienced players and he provides the same winning intagibles to the star-studded, yet young American squad.
When asked what he brings to Team USA, the former Chicago Bulls 2015 first round pick replied:
“… Communication, knowing what it takes to win.. There’s going to be high and lows that comes in the tournament.. trying to be a vocal leader…”
True to his word, Portis could be heard by people near the courtside area of MOA Arena shouting defensive rotations and motivating his teamates during their first FIBA World Cup game against New Zealand.
Aside from big game experience and being the vocal leader, Portis also brings heart and versatility to Team USA. He plays as a center in small lineup and power forward when Coach Steve Kerr prefers a big lineup. He shoots three-point shots and provides the team with a post-up play option.
USA advanced to the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals stage after beating Montenegro and will be playing bigger and better teams moving forward, so don’t be surprised if Coach Kerr calls Bobby Portis’ number more often.
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