No Bird, Griner, Taurasi: US still favorite to win World Cup

Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson warms up for Game 3 of the WNBA Finals against the Connecticut Sun on Thursday, Sept. 15, in Uncasville, Conn.

SYDNEY — The U.S. women’s basketball roster has undergone major changes since the Americans won gold at the Tokyo Olympics last year with Sue Bird retired and Brittney Griner in a Russian jail.

Even without Bird and Griner — and no Diana Taurasi — the U.S. is the favorite to win a fourth consecutive FIBA World Cup championship that begins Thursday. The Americans last lost a major international game in the semifinals of the 2006 World Championship, falling to Russia. The U.S. hasn’t lost an Olympic game or World Cup contest since.

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