Jeff Van Gundy said he was initially caught off-guard by the physicality of FIBA play after taking over as the head coach of the U.S. men's basketball team.
"I was an absolute novice when I came to FIBA basketball, learning day by day about how good the teams are, how hard they play, just how rough FIBA (competition) is. That’s nineties playoff basketball in the NBA, hand-to-hand combat, fist down your throat, elbow in your chest, on every possession. You have to get used to it and you have to embrace the differences," said Van Gundy.
Van Gundy warned USA Basketball that the level of international play continues to improve.
"These windows have to serve as a warning for USA Basketball to grow even more because all of these teams are getting better and we were very fortunate to qualify. Having taken part in them, I think they've been positive for teams that don't get to play much together, like Cuba, Panama and Venezuela, who grew so much. I think FIBA has, as its primary objective, growing basketball on a global level. And the windows work in order to achieve this objective."