1999–2000 NBA season
The 1999–2000 NBA season was the 54th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA championship, beating the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 2 in the 2000 NBA Finals. Effective this season, the first game of the NBA regular season begins on either the first Tuesday of November or the last Tuesday of October, the last game on the third Wednesday of April; the NBA playoffs begin on the third Saturday of April. The 2000 NBA All-Star Game held in California; the West won 137–126. Tim Duncan from the San Antonio Spurs and Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers shared the game's MVP honors; the Slam Dunk Contest returned after a two-year absence, with Vince Carter winning the title in what is considered to be one of the best Dunk Contest performances of all time. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers played their first games at the Staples Center; the Lakers would go on to win 19 consecutive games between February 4, 2000, March 16, 2000, the sixth-longest winning streak in NBA history.
Staples Center's first season saw its tenants at two opposite ends of the league: the Lakers finished with a best regular season record of 67–15 and the NBA title, while the Clippers finished 15–67, the worst of the season. The Denver Nuggets played their first game at the Pepsi Center; the Indiana Pacers played their first game at the Conseco Fieldhouse. The Indiana Pacers advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history; the Atlanta Hawks played their first game at the Philips Arena. The Miami Heat started the season playing their home games at Miami Arena. In January, they played their first game at the AmericanAirlines Arena; the Toronto Raptors played their first full season at the Air Canada Centre. They made the playoffs for the first time becoming the first Canadian team to do so. During Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, the Portland Trail Blazers held a 75-60 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers with 10:28 left to play. During the fourth quarter, the Blazers would miss thirteen consecutive shots, allowing the Lakers to claw back and take the game, 89–84.
The game was capped off with a famous alley-oop to Shaquille O'Neal from Kobe Bryant. Two active players were killed in automobile accidents within four months of each other. On January 12, Bobby Phills of the Charlotte Hornets was killed as a result of reckless driving while racing against teammate David Wesley. On May 20, Malik Sealy of the Minnesota Timberwolves was driving home from a birthday party being held for Kevin Garnett when his SUV was struck by a drunk driver, driving on the wrong side of the road. Phills would have his jersey retired during the season after news of his unexpected death was announced, while Sealy would have his jersey retired after this season concluded. San Antonio Spurs forward Sean Elliott was sidelined for most of the season while undergoing kidney transplant operations, he returned on March 13, becoming the first player to return following kidney transplant. The Boston Celtics retired their trademark parquet floor on December 22, 1999, after 54 years; the floor would be replaced by a replica combining elements of the old floor and new wooden sections.
Doc Rivers became the first recipient of the NBA Coach of the Year Award to have not led his team to the playoffs. He coached the Orlando Magic to a respectable 41-41 record, good enough for the 9th seed in the East The season marked Patrick Ewing's last in a New York Knicks uniform, he was traded during the 2000 offseason to the Seattle SuperSonics in a three-team deal. Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain died on October 12, 1999, at 63. Wilt's former teams, the Lakers and Warriors honored him by sporting black patches for the rest of the season. Kevin Johnson returned from retirement to replace the injured Jason Kidd of Phoenix Suns in this season's playoffs, but the Suns fell to the Lakers in the second round and Johnson would retire again. 36-year-old Houston Rockets forward Charles Barkley suffered a devastating injury early in the season but returned for a final game before retiring. The Atlanta Hawks changed their uniforms; the Cleveland Cavaliers changed their uniforms. The Denver Nuggets moved into the Pepsi Center.
The Detroit Pistons added new maroon alternate uniforms. The Indiana Pacers moved into the Conseco Fieldhouse; the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers both moved into the Staples Center, while the Lakers changed their uniforms. The Miami Heat changed their logo and uniforms, moved into the AmericanAirlines Arena in January; the Philadelphia 76ers added new blue alternate uniforms. The Seattle SuperSonics added new red alternate uniforms; the Toronto Raptors changed their uniforms removing the pinstripes. Notes z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs y – Clinched division title x – Clinched playoff spot Teams in bold advanced to the next round; the numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record.
* Division winnerBold Series winnerItalic Team with home-court advantage Most Valuable Player: Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers Co-Rookies of the Year: Elton Brand, Chicago Bulls.
1997 NBA draft
The 1997 NBA draft took place on June 25, 1997, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although the Boston Celtics had the second-worst record in the 1996–97 season and the best odds of winning the lottery with two picks, the Spurs a model of winning and consistency, lost David Robinson and Sean Elliott to injury early in the season, finished with the third-worst record, subsequently won the lottery. Leading up to the draft, there was no doubt that Tim Duncan would be selected at No. 1 by the Spurs, the rest of the draft was regarded with some skepticism. The Celtics had the third and sixth picks, selecting Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer, both of whom were traded in the next two years; the Washington Wizards forfeited their 1997 first-round pick in connection with the signing of Juwan Howard. Thus, the draft only had 57 selections overall; these players were not selected in the 1997 NBA Draft but have played in the NBA. "Official website". Archived from the original on 2001-02-15. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown 1997 NBA Draft at Basketball-reference
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is a men's professional basketball league in North America. It is considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world; the NBA is an active member of USA Basketball, recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player; the league was founded in New York City on June 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League; the league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in New Jersey; the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada.
On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including Podoloff. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own, it now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today.
The process of contraction saw. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, to St. Louis in 1955; the Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in 1957. Japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, he remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a field goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, which featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single game records in scoring and rebounding. Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports; the 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966; this championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in 1969; the domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s.
Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers, the St. Louis Hawks moving to Atlanta, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises; the Chicago Packers (now Wa
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team played its home games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to Moda Center in 1995. The franchise entered the league as an expansion team in 1970, has enjoyed a strong following: from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American major professional sports at the time, only since surpassed by the Boston Red Sox; the Trail Blazers have been the only NBA team based in the bi-national Pacific Northwest, after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA championship once in 1977.
Their other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 34 seasons of their 48-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, tied for the second longest streak in NBA history; the Trail Blazers' 34 playoff appearances rank third in the NBA only behind the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs since the team's inception in 1970. Six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers. Bill Walton is the franchise's most decorated player. Four Blazer rookies have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Three players have earned the Most Improved Player award: Kevin Duckworth, Zach Randolph, CJ McCollum. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Lenny Wilkens and Jack Ramsay, have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, two others, Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy, have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the team. Sports promoter Harry Glickman sought a National Basketball Association franchise for Portland as far back as 1955 when he proposed two new expansion teams, the other to be located in Los Angeles.
When the Memorial Coliseum was opened in 1960 Glickman saw the potential it could serve as a professional basketball venue but it was not until February 6, 1970, that the NBA board of governors granted him the rights to a franchise in Portland. To raise the money for the $3.7 million admission tax, Glickman associated himself to real estate magnates Robert Schmertz of New Jersey, Larry Weinberg of Los Angeles and Herman Sarkowsky of Seattle. Two weeks on February 24, team management held a contest to select the team's name and received more than 10,000 entries; the most popular choice was "Pioneers", but that name was excluded from consideration as it was used by sports teams at Portland's Lewis & Clark College. The name "Trail Blazers" received 172 entries, was selected by the judging panel, being revealed on March 13 in the halftime of a SuperSonics game at the Memorial Coliseum. Derived from the trail blazing activity by explorers making paths through forests, Glickman considered it a name that could "reflect both the ruggedness of the Pacific Northwest and the start of a major league era in our state."
Despite initial mixed response, the Trail Blazers name shortened to just "Blazers", became popular in Oregon. Along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Buffalo Braves, the Trail Blazers entered the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team, under coach Rolland Todd. Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks led the team in its early years, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs in its first six seasons of existence. During that span, the team had three head coaches; the team won the first pick in the NBA draft twice during that span. In 1972, the team drafted LaRue Martin with the number one pick. In 1974 the team selected Bill Walton from UCLA; the ABA–NBA merger of 1976 saw those two rival leagues join forces. Four ABA teams joined the NBA; the Trail Blazers selected Maurice Lucas in the dispersal draft. That summer, they hired Jack Ramsay as head coach; the two moves, coupled with the team's stellar play, led Portland to several firsts: winning record, playoff appearance, championship in 1977. Starting on April 5 of that year, the team began a sellout streak of 814 straight games—the longest in American major professional sports history—which did not end until 1995, after the team moved into a larger facility.
The team started the 1977–78 season with a 50–10 mark, some predicted a dynasty in Portland. However, Bill Walton suffered a foot injury that ended his season and would plague him over the remainder of his career, the team struggled to an 8–14 finish, going 58–24 overall. In the playoffs, Portland lost to the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1978 conference semifinals; that summer, Walton demanded to be traded to a team of his choice because he was unhappy with his medical treatment in Portland. Walton was never traded, he held out the entire 1978–79 season and left the team as a free agent thereafter; the team was further dismantled as Lucas left in 1980. During the 1980s, the team was a consistent presence in the NBA post-season, failing to qualify for the playoffs only in 1982. However, they never advanced past the conference semifinals duri
Mark Anthony Philippoussis is an Australian retired tennis player of Greek and Italian descent. He turned professional in 1994, his greatest achievements are winning two Davis Cup titles with Australia in 1999 and 2003, winning the deciding rubber in the final of each. He reached the finals of the 1998 US Open and the 2003 Wimbledon tournaments, losing to countryman Pat Rafter and Swiss Roger Federer respectively, he reached a career-high singles ranking of world No. 8. He has had a minor career in modelling and starred in the American reality television dating show Age of Love, he is nicknamed'the Scud', after the Scud missile. Philippoussis was born in Melbourne to a Greek father, Nikolaos and an Italian mother and was educated at Maribyrnong College and at Wesley College, he is of the Roman Catholic faith. Coached by his father, the right-hander has played tennis since he was six years of age, he was an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder. He was coached by former 1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, which ended in an acrimonious split in 2000.
In 1994, he finished third in single ranking for juniors. Philippoussis finished as junior doubles champion with Ben Ellwood in Australia and Italy, he turned professional in 1994. In 1995, at the age of 19, he was the youngest player in the year-end top 50. In 1996, he reached the 4th round of the Australian Open upsetting Pete Sampras in the 3rd round and in doubles with Patrick Rafter. On 25 May 1997, he recorded a personal best 229.0 km/h serve in a game. During the height of his career, Philippoussis was known as having one of the fastest serves in the game. At the 1998 U. S. Open, Philippoussis reached his first Grand Slam final, losing to fellow Australian Patrick Rafter. In January 1999, Philippoussis and Jelena Dokić won the Hopman Cup for Australia, defeating Sweden's Åsa Carlsson and Jonas Björkman in the final tie; this was the first time that Australia won the Hopman Cup and the only time, until Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova won in January 2016. On 29 March 1999, Philippoussis stayed there for 10 weeks.
He advanced to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 1999 for the second straight year, where he retired in the second set against Sampras after having won the first set. During that match, Philippoussis suffered a moderate cartilage tear in his left knee and underwent arthroscopic surgery four days later. Sampras remarked that he "dodged a bullet out there". Philippoussis returned to professional tennis seven weeks at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships and lost his second round match after receiving a bye in the first round, he did not play again until October in Singapore. He finished 1999 at No. 19. 2000 was the fourth consecutive year in which Philippoussis finished in the top 20, at No. 11. He reached the fourth round at the Australian Open, he defeated No. 2 Sampras 8–6 in the fifth set at the French Open in a first-round match, but lost in the fourth round to Juan Carlos Ferrero. For the third consecutive year, he made it to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, losing again to Agassi, he appeared in his second Olympic Games in Sydney, losing in the third round to eventual gold medalist Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
Philippoussis finished 2002 despite not winning a title. He moved from Miami to the San Diego area in September 2002. Philippoussis has always claimed to be proud of representing his country in Davis Cup, but personal differences with John Newcombe and Tony Roche interfered with his commitment early in his career. Despite several publicised feuds, Philippoussis played a large part in giving Australia their 27th Davis Cup triumph—second only to the United States with 31—but it was their first since 1986. In 1999 he defeated 6 -- 3, 5 -- 7, 6 -- 1, 6 -- 2, in Nice, France. Injuries plagued Philippoussis’s availability for Davis Cup and was the cause of a public rift between team-mates Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt. Rafter publicly accused Philippoussis of jerking the team around after he withdrew from a Davis Cup tie in late 2000. Philippoussis said Rafter was ill-informed and upset by the lack of support and understanding from his team-mates. Knee surgeries forced Philippoussis out of Davis Cup until February 2003.
By Pat Rafter had retired, John Fitzgerald and Wally Masur were the new Davis Cup captain and coach. The impact of these changes was recognised, as team harmony was at its highest throughout the year. Philippoussis once again sealed victory for Australia in the Melbourne Final against Spain. Philippoussis beat Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero in a 7 -- 6 -- 3, 1 -- 6, 2 -- 6, 6 -- 0 battle. Philippoussis suffered a pectoral tear at the end of the second set, which caused him to lose the third and fourth sets, he regrouped in the fifth set and trounced Ferrero 6–0. After three knee operations and a protracted comeback, Philippoussis avowed a new seriousness to his sport, he made himself available for Davis Cup, hired a new physical trainer, took up surfing as his new recreation. It seemed to work, as he made the 2003 Wimbledon final losing to Roger Federer, 6–7, 2–6, 6–7. During a 2003 Wimbledon tennis match against Andre Agassi, he set a new Australian tennis record of 46 aces served in a match, three aces short of the overall ATP Tour record held by Richard Krajicek.
Philippoussis broke a two-year singles-title drought by winning the Shanghai Open in 2003. On 30 November 2003, he defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain to win the fourth match of the Davis Cup final in Melbourne, securing the title for Australia. At the e
The center known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is the tallest player on the team, has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is 6 feet 10 inches or taller and weighs 240 pounds or more, they traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five; the center is considered a necessary component for a successful team in professional leagues such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA; the 6'10" George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten-year career, nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the shot block. In the 1960s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry of the two big men came to dominate the NBA. Between the two of them and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the eleven-year period between 1958 and 1969. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably and Russell hold the top eighteen season averages for rebounds. Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships, he joined the Boston Celtics and helped make them one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking and physical man-to-man defense. While he was never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the team's scoring came when Russell grabbed defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with precision outlet passes to point guard Bob Cousy.
As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston after the 1966–67 season, when he became the first African-American in any major sport to be named player-coach. His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1", 275 pounds, lacked Russell's supporting cast. Chamberlain played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Jayhawks lost by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. A member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, he won seven scoring titles, eleven rebounding titles, four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award.
Stronger than any player of his era, he was capable of scoring and rebounding at will. Although he was the target of constant double- and triple-teaming, as well as fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, he set a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single game, he holds the NBA's all-time records for rebounding average, rebounds in a single game, career rebounds. A lesser-known center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who played the forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, his averages of 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in 1966–67 and 1967–68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell. In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners.
At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. UCLA had won two consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that pressed and emphasized guard play. After not winning in 1966, Wooden's teams changed their style, he led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot, his entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and plagued by injuries. After leading the Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship, te
1998 FIBA World Championship
The 1998 FIBA World Championship was the 13th FIBA World Championship, an international basketball tournament held by the International Basketball Federation and hosted in Greece from 29 July to 9 August 1998. The tournament was contested by 16 nations and the matches were played in two venues in Athens and Piraeus; because of the National Basketball Association lockout and unlike the previous championship, the USA Basketball Association was unable to send a team comprised from NBA players, thus causing the American national team roster to be comprised out of professional basketball players playing in Europe and two college players. The tournament was won by FR Yugoslavia, in their first participation after the breakup of Yugoslavia, defeating 64–62 Russia in the final. Greece and the United States qualified automatically, the first because of its status as host country, the latter due to earning a gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics; the remaining places were secured according to the different continental tournaments held in 1997.
The top three teams in each group advance to the second round, into either Group E or F. The fourth place team in each group moves onto the 13th–16th classification. First three teams in each group of the first group phase qualify to the second phase, creating two new groups of six teams; the final standings take in account the results of previous round matches. Vasili Karasev Alberto Herreros Dejan Bodiroga — MVP Gregor Fučka Željko Rebrača FIBA official website EuroBasket.com FIBA Basketball World Cup Page