Report: LeBron James, other NBA stars could join Team USA for 2024 Paris Olympics
Roughly 24 hours after Team USA finished a measly fourth place in the 2023 FIBA World Cup courtesy of an overtime loss to Canada, NBA insiders Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported that LeBron James–as well as other NBA stars, such as Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry–are prepared to suit up for Team USA in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
James, who will be turning 39 in December, is a three-time Olympic medalist, earning two Gold Medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics, the last time he partook in one. He also won Gold in 2007 in the FIBA Americas Championship and Bronze in the 2006 FIBA World Cup.
Durant has won Gold with Team USA in each of the last three Olympics, while Curry has yet to be apart of Team USA in the Olympics (he’s won two Gold Medals in the FIBA World Cup twice — 2010, 2014).
Other players that James has reportedly spoken to, per Charania, are Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum and Draymond Green–with Charania stating “they are all prepared to commit.” Additionally, Damian Lillard–who won gold with Team USA in the 2020 Olympics– as well as De’Aaron Fox and Kyrie Irving have also expressed interest.
It’s safe to assume there will also be at least 2-3 players from this year’s World Cup team who could elevate to the Olympic squad–such as Anthony Edwards, who was their best player, and Mikal Bridges. Tatum and Khris Middleton were the two players Team USA elevated after the 2019 FIBA World Cup entering 2020.
This year’s USA FIBA World Cup roster was poorly constructed and, frankly, small–with Jaren Jackson Jr. spearheading the frontcourt–lacking a cohesive offensive attack and consistent rim protection. Despite being the most talented, its lack of size and cohesion led to losses to Lithuania, Germany (who won Gold after going 9-0) and Canada in the third-place game.
Throwing together a star-laden roster would help; this WC team was rightfully its “B” team. But what they really need is cohesion, balance and two-way connectivity. Most of the players above have played together in previous Olympic runs, which helps. But can the aging stars jell once more for their fifth straight gold? We’ll have to wait and see.
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