Fournier, who is playing big minutes following his worst season in the NBA in which he only appeared in a career-low 27 games, had 13 points, five rebounds and four assists in France’s 86-67 victory over Venezuela as they remained unbeaten in three warmup games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Fournier’s all-around game came on the heels of a 20-point explosion in France’s 80-69 win over Montenegro last week.
The 30-year-old Fournier has rediscovered his old form after Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau yanked him out of his rotation last season.
“I am impatient to play again, excited to come back to this team, the atmosphere, our headquarters in Pau, the practices, fighting for a goal. This season, for the first time, I had no goal and it felt strange,” Fournier told L’Equipe on July 17.
“I want to live intense moments, feel like myself again. The French national team is important in my career. This World Cup will be my launchpad.”
Fournier is walking the talk, which the Knicks certainly welcome as they try to find him a new home in the NBA.
Jalen Brunson Logs Double-Double in Team USA Debut
Jalen Brunson had a sensational debut with Team USA.
The Knick’s star point guard logged a double-double to lead the national team to a 117-74 dominant victory against Puerto Rico Monday night in Las Vegas.
Brunson had 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in just 22 minutes of action as the starting point guard. He added three assists, one steal and a block in a solid all-around performance. He was a plus-23 on the court, the second-best plus-minus in Team USA, next to his backup Tyrese Haliburton’s plus-24.
“It took us a while to get going, but when we’re playing the defensive side of the ball and getting stops and turnovers and running, it’s pretty fun for us,” Brunson said after the game via ESPN. “So we just got to try to continue to do that. Just not worry about offense at all, and we’ll be all right.”
RJ Barrett, Canada Face Germany in 1st Warmup Game
Knicks starting wing RJ Barrett is expected to showcase the stuff he worked on this summer with his trainer Drew Hanlen when Canada starts their FIBA World Cup buildup against Germany tomorrow, Aug. 9.
Canada will play five warm-up games in Europe before flying to Jakarta, Indonesia for the group stages of the FIBA World Cup.
After facing Germany, Barrett and Canada will play in the 34th Basketball SuperCup on Aug. 12 to 13, where they will face New Zealand. Germany and China will square off in the other game.
The winners will meet in the championship match the next day, while the losers will battle for third place.
Canada will then fly to Spain to play top-ranked Spain and the Karl-Anthony Towns-led Dominican Republic on August 17 to 18 for their final tuneup games.
Barrett is expected to lead Canada alongside All-NBA guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder) and NBA champion guard Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets).