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The FIBA Basketball World Cup, also known
as the FIBA World Cup of Basketball or simply the FIBA World Cup, between 1950 and 2010
known as the FIBA World Championship, is an international basketball competition contested
by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the International Basketball Federation
(FIBA), the sport’s global governing body. It is considered the flagship event of FIBA.The
tournament structure is similar, but not identical, to that of the FIFA World Cup; both of these
international competitions were played in the same year from 1970 through 2014. A parallel event for women’s teams, now known
as the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, is also held quadrennially. From 1986 through 2014, the men’s and women’s
championships were held in the same year, though in different countries. The current format of the tournament involves
32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation. The winning team receives the Naismith Trophy,
first awarded in 1967. The current champions are the United States,
who defeated Serbia in the final of the 2014 tournament. Following the 2014 FIBA championships for
men and women, the men’s World Cup was scheduled on a new four-year cycle to avoid conflict
with the FIFA World Cup. The next men’s World Cup will be held in 2019,
in the year following the FIFA World Cup. The women’s championship, which was renamed
from “FIBA World Championship for Women” to “FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup”, after
its 2014 edition, will remain on the previous four-year cycle, with championships in the
same year as the FIFA World Cup. The 1994 FIBA World Championship, which was
held in Canada, was the first FIBA World Cup tournament in which currently active American
NBA players, that had also already played in an official NBA regular season game, were
allowed to participate. All FIBA World Championship/World Cup tournaments
from the 1994 edition onward, are thus considered as fully professional level tournaments.==History==The FIBA Basketball World Cup was conceived
at a meeting of the FIBA World Congress at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. Long-time FIBA Secretary-General Renato William
Jones urged FIBA to adopt a World Championship, similar to the FIFA World Cup, to be held
in every four years between Olympiads. The FIBA Congress, seeing how successful the
23-team Olympic tournament was that year, agreed to the proposal, beginning with a tournament
in 1950. Argentina was selected as host, largely because
it was the only country willing to take on the task. Argentina took advantage of the host selection,
winning all their games en route to becoming the first FIBA World Champion. The first five tournaments were held in South
America, and teams from the Americas dominated the tournament, winning eight of nine medals
at the first three tournaments. By 1963, however, teams from Eastern Europe
(the Soviet Union) and Southeast Europe (Yugoslavia), in particular – began to catch up to the
teams from the American continents. Between 1963 and 1990, the tournament was
dominated by the United States, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Brazil who together
accounted for every medal at the tournament. The 1994 FIBA World Championship held in Toronto
marked the beginning of a new era, as currently active American NBA players participated in
the tournament for the first time (prior to that only European and South American professionals
were allowed to participate as they were still classified as amateurs), while the Soviet
Union and Yugoslavia split into many new states. The United States dominated that year and
won gold, while the former states of the USSR and Yugoslavia, Russia and Croatia, won silver
and bronze. The 1998 FIBA World Championship, held in
Greece (Athens and Piraeus), lost some of its luster when the 1998–99 NBA lockout
prevented NBA players from participating. The new Yugoslavian team, now consisting of
the former Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro, won the gold medal over Russia,
while the USA, with professional basketball players playing in Europe and two college
players, finished third. In 2002, other nations eventually caught up
to the four powerhouse countries and their successor states. FR Yugoslavia, led by Peja Stojaković of
the Sacramento Kings and Dejan Bodiroga of FC Barcelona won the final game against Argentina,
while Dirk Nowitzki, who was the tournament’s MVP, led Germany to the bronze, its first
ever World Championship medal. Meanwhile, the United States team, this time
made up of NBA players, struggled to a sixth-place finish. This new era of parity convinced FIBA to expand
the tournament to 24 teams for the 2006, 2010, and 2014 editions of the tournament.In 2006,
emerging powerhouse Spain beat Greece in the first appearance in the final for both teams. Spain became only the seventh team (Yugoslavia
and FR Yugoslavia are counted separately in the FIBA records) to capture a World Championship
gold. The USA, who lost to Greece in a semifinal,
won against Argentina in the third place match and claimed bronze. In the 2010 FIBA World Championship final,
the USA defeated Turkey and won gold for the first time in 16 years, while Lithuania beat
Serbia and won bronze. The United States became the third country
to defend the championship, winning against Serbia at the 2014 edition of the tournament. France beat Lithuania in the bronze medal
game. After the 2014 edition, FIBA instituted significant
changes to the World Cup. The final competition was expanded from 24
to 32 teams. Also, for the first time since 1967, the competition
would no longer overlap with the FIFA World Cup. To accommodate this change, the 2014 FIBA
World Cup will be followed by a 2019 edition in China, then followed by a 2023 edition
in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.==Qualification==The Basketball World Cup has used various
forms of qualification throughout its history. The first five tournaments were held in South
America and participation was dominated by teams from the Americas. At the first tournament, FIBA intended for
the three Olympic medalists to compete, plus the host Argentina and two teams each from
Europe, Asia, and South America. However, no Asian team was willing to travel
to the event, so six of the ten teams were from the Americas (all three Olympic medalists
were from the Americas, plus the zone received two continental berths and an Asia’s berth). The former European powerhouse Soviet Union,
later made their first tournament appearance in 1959, after missing the first two events. In the tournament’s early years, only Europe
and South America had established continental tournaments, so participation in the tournament
was largely by invitation. Later, Asia added a continental championship
in 1960, followed by Africa in 1962, Central America in 1965, and Oceania in 1971, As a
result of these changes, qualification became more formalized starting with the 1967 tournament. In that year, the Asian champion received
an automatic berth in the tournament, joining the top European and South American teams. In 1970, the African and Oceanian champion
each received a berth, while the Centrobasket champion and runner-up were each invited. For most of these years, the tournament host,
defending World Champion, and top Olympic basketball tournament finishers also qualified
for the event. From 1970 through the 2014 World Cup, qualification
continued to be based on the continental competitions and the Olympic tournament. The only major change came in the 1990 FIBA
World Championship, when the tournament started taking qualifiers from the newly redesigned
FIBA Americas Championship rather than from North, Central, and South America individually. After the tournament expanded to 24 teams
in 2006, the tournament allocated qualification as follows:
FIBA EuroBasket (Europe) – 6 berths FIBA AfroBasket (Africa) – 3 berths
FIBA Asia Championship (Asia) – 3 berths FIBA Americas Championship (North, Central,
and South America) – 5 berths FIBA Oceania Championship (Oceania) – 2
berths Defending Olympic Champion – 1 berth, removed
from the zone of the Olympic champion Host team – 1 berth
FIBA-selected wild cards – 4 berthsEach of the five continental championships also
served as qualification for the Olympics, so all were held every two years. The year immediately preceding the World Championship
was used to determine the berths at the tournament. For example, all of the berths at the 2010
FIBA World Championship were determined by continental championships held in 2009. After the first 20 teams qualified, FIBA then
selected four wild card teams, based on sporting, economic, and governance criteria, as well
as a required registration fee from each team to be considered by the FIBA board. Of the four wild cards, only three could come
from one continental zone. In each of the two tournaments that the wild
card system was in place, FIBA selected the maximum three European teams to compete in
the event. FIBA instituted major changes to its competition
calendar and the qualifying process for both the World Cup and Olympics in 2017. First, the continental championships are now
held once every four years, specifically in years that immediately follow the Summer Olympics. The continental championships no longer play
a role in qualifying for either the World Cup or Olympics.The 2019 World Cup qualifying
process, which began in 2017, is the first under a new format. Qualifying takes place over a two-year cycle,
involving six windows of play. Qualifying zones mirror the FIBA continental
zones, except that FIBA Asia and FIBA Oceania are now combined into a single Asia-Pacific
qualifying zone. In each qualifying zone, nations are divided
into Division A and Division B, with promotion and relegation between the two. FIBA did not initially reveal full details
of the new process, but announced that at least in opening phases, it would feature
groups of three or four teams, playing home-and-away within the group. Below is the list of distribution of berths
according to each FIBA qualifying zone. FIBA Europe – 12 berths
FIBA Americas – 7 berths FIBA Africa – 5 berths
Asia-Pacific (FIBA Asia and FIBA Oceania) – 7 berths
Host team – 1 berth / 3 berths in 2023==Tournament format==The Basketball World Cup has existed in several
different formats throughout the years, as it has expanded and contracted between 10
and 24 teams. The first tournament, in 1950, began with
a ten-team double-elimination tournament, followed by a six-team round robin round to
determine the champion. Between 1954 and 1974, each tournament started
with a group stage preliminary round; the top teams in each preliminary round group
then moved on to a final round robin group to determine the champion. In 1978, FIBA added a gold medal game between
the top two finishers in the final group and a bronze medal game between the third and
fourth place teams. In each year between 1959 and 1982, the host
team received a bye into the final group. Of the seven host teams in this era, only
three won medals, despite the head start. As a result, FIBA made the host team compete
in the preliminary round starting in 1986. In 1986, the tournament briefly expanded to
24 teams. Four groups of six teams each competed in
the preliminary round group stage. The top three teams in each group then competed
in the second group stage, followed by a four-team knockout tournament between the top two finishers
in each group. The championship contracted back down to 16
teams for the 1990 tournament. The three tournaments between 1990 and 1998,
each had two group stages followed by a four-team knockout tournament to determine the medalists. The 2002 tournament expanded the knockout
round to eight teams. In 2006, FIBA made the decision to expand
back to 24 teams and introduced the format that was in place through 2014. Under that format, the teams were divided
into four preliminary round groups of six teams each.In 2019, the final tournament will
expand to 32 teams. If the teams should be tied at the end of
the preliminary round, the ties are broken by the following criteria in order: Game results between tied teams
Goal average between games of the tied teams Goal average for all games of the tied teams
Drawing of lotsThe top four teams in each group then advance to a sixteen-team single-elimination
knockout round. It begins with the eighth finals, where the
top teams in each group play the fourth-placed teams in another group and the second and
third-placed teams in each group face off. This is followed by the quarterfinals, semifinals,
and final. The semifinal losers play in the bronze medal
game, while the quarterfinal losers play in a consolation bracket to determine fifth through
eighth places.==Naismith Trophy==Since 1967, the champion of each tournament
has been awarded the Naismith Trophy, named in honor of basketball’s inventor, James Naismith. A trophy had been planned since the first
World Championship in 1950, but did not come to fruition until FIBA finally commissioned
a trophy in 1965, after receiving a US$1,000 donation. The original trophy was used from 1967 through
1994. An updated trophy was introduced for the 1998
FIBA World Championship and the original now sits at the Pedro Ferrándiz Foundation in
Spain.The second trophy is designed in an Egyptian-inspired lotus shape, upon which
there are carved maps of the continents and precious stones symbolizing the five continents
(FIBA Americas represents both North America and South America). Dr. Naismith’s name is engraved on all four
sides in Latin, Arabic, Chinese, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. The trophy stands 47 centimeters (18.5 inches)
tall and weighs nine kilograms (twenty pounds).The most recent Naismith Trophy design was revealed
in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Draw Ceremonies, last May 7, 2017. The trophy, which stands about 60 centimeters
high (13 cm. higher than the 1998 version), is made almost entirely out of gold, and features
the names of the previous world cup champions at the base. FIBA’s original name (Federation Internationale
de Basketball Amateur) is also engraved at the trophy’s “hoop”. The trophy was designed by Radiant, and handcrafted
by the silversmith Thomas Lyte.==Results=====
Medal table===In the most current medal table released by
FIBA as seen on the FIBA archive website, the 2014 championship is taken into account,
and the records of SFR Yugoslavia and FR Yugoslavia are combined under “Yugoslavia”.Previously,
FIBA had a medal table from 1950 to 2006, and another medal table that included results
from 1950 to 2006, that separated the results of SFR Yugoslavia/FR Yugoslavia and Serbia
and Montenegro respectively into “Yugoslavia” or “Serbia and Montenegro”. The ranking of teams between the latter two
medal tables are different, with the FIBA.com ranking by number of total medals, while the
FIBA World Cup website’s ranking is by number of gold medals. The number of medals won by the United States
differs between the latter two medal tables, despite encompassing the same period. The latter two medal tables also do not include
the results of the 2010 and 2014 championships. Finally, a FIBA.com PDF linked from the FIBA.com
history section that documents the championships from 1950 to 2002 also has a medal table that
included tournaments from 1950 to 1998, which also separated pre-breakup Yugoslavia, called
as “Yusgoslavia” [sic] from the post-breakup Yugoslavia, called as “Serbia and Montenegro”,
and ranked the teams by the number of total medals.The FIBA archive also lists the achievements
of each national team, separating it per IOC codes. The national team representing Serbia’s first
international tournament is listed as 2007, Serbia and Montenegro’s tournament participation
lasted from 2003 to 2006, and Yugoslavia’s participation was from 1947 to 2002. Chinese Taipei was listed not to have participated
in the World Cup, indeed its first participation in any FIBA tournament started in 1986; a
team called “Taiwan” participated from 1960 to 1973, and a “Formosa” team joined from
1954 to 1959.Below is the FIBA table as seen from the FIBA archive website, updated with
results since 1998. The records of SFR Yugoslavia and FR Yugoslavia
(counted together as “Yugoslavia”) are separated from records of Serbia and Serbia and Montenegro. In the case of the Soviet Union, their records
also didn’t carry over to Russia.==Records and statistics==Three players – Bira Maciel and Marcel De
Souza of Brazil and Phil Smyth of Australia – have appeared in five tournaments. Six different players have won medals in four
tournaments. Brazilian legend Oscar Schmidt is the runaway
all-time leading scorer, scoring 843 career points in four tournaments, between 1978 and
1990. Nikos Galis of Greece, is the all-time leading
scorer for a single tournament, averaging 33.7 points per game for the Greeks at the
1986 FIBA World Championship. Serbian coach and former player Željko Obradović
is the only person who won the title, both as a coach and a player. He was a member of the Yugoslavia team that
won the 1990 FIBA World Championship and coached the Yugoslavia team that won the 1998 FIBA
World Championship.==Awards==FIBA names a Most Valuable Player for each
tournament. Since the tournament opened to NBA players
at the 1994 tournament for the first time, NBA players have won five of the six MVP trophies
awarded – Shaquille O’Neal for the United States in 1994, Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki at
the 2002 tournament, Spain’s Pau Gasol at the 2006 tournament, Kevin Durant for the
United States at the 2010 tournament, and Kyrie Irving for the United States at the
2014 tournament. The only exception was Dejan Bodiroga of FR
Yugoslavia, who was the MVP of the 1998 tournament, when the NBA players were not able to participate,
due to the 1998–99 NBA lockout.==Tournament growth==
The 2010 FIBA World Championship reached a global TV audience of 800 million people,
across 171 countries, with the official website having 30 million views during the tournament. Both numbers broke the previous records set
at the 2006 FIBA World Championship and at the EuroBasket 2009. Three of the games involving Lithuania were
among the highest rated programs in that country. In China, 65 million watched the Chinese national
team’s game against Greece, in the preliminary round. This was an improvement from the 2006 FIBA
World Championship, which was held in Japan, and was shown in 150 countries. This meant that games aired in the morning
in Europe and at night in the Americas; despite this, audiences broke records, with Italy’s
game against Slovenia achieving a 20% viewing share in Italy, Serbia’s game against Nigeria
netting a 33% share in Serbia, and a 600,000-audience in the United States for the USA national
team’s game against Puerto Rico at 1 a.m.Before the 2010 FIBA World Championship started in
Turkey, FIBA had already sold 350,000 tickets, for a revenue of between US$8 to 10 million. The number of tickets sold was 10% higher
than 2006, although the revenue was less than 2006’s US$18 million, which was widely attributed
to the strong Japanese yen. Meanwhile, FIBA got two-thirds of marketing
rights revenue, of which one-third, or about US$8 million, went to the local organizers. FIBA had also successfully negotiated TV rights
deals, which all went to FIBA, worth US$25 million, including a TV rights deal with ESPN. In 2006, the Japanese organizers were targeting
to sell 180,000 tickets, mostly to a Japanese audience; as for the overseas audience, the
Japanese organizers didn’t “expect them in great numbers”. This was seen as a big improvement from the
2002 tournament, which was a financial loss for USA Basketball and Indianapolis, in which
all games were held in one city. This led to the Japanese organizers to hold
games throughout the country, instead of just in a single city.At the most recent world
championship, which was re-branded as the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, in Spain,
FIBA reported impressive ratings from nations which were participating in the tournament
during the first week of the group phase. Most games involving European teams had a
market share of at least 20%, including a 40% market share in Finland, for the Finnish
national team’s game against the Dominican Republic. The TV ratings in the United States beat out
the 2014 US Tennis Open, but some US sports media still described Americans as not caring
about the FIBA Basketball World Cup. In the Philippines, the entire tournament
had an average reach of 67.8%.==See also==FIBA Basketball World Cup records
FIBA Basketball World Cup winning head coaches National team appearances in the FIBA Basketball
World Cup FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup (formerly
FIBA World Championship for Women) FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup
FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup Wheelchair Basketball World Championship==Notes

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