Next summer, the elite of the NBA will once again take over the USA Basketball mantel from some scrappy G-Leaguers — thanks again for that, FIBA! — and 12 of the NBA’s best will represent the United States in the World Cup, played in China. That tournament is also the primary qualifier for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
How many Warriors will be on that team? Besides Steve Kerr as an assistant coach.
While the team isn’t set and a lot of factors will play into this (including injuries and contract situations), there could be five: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and DeMarcus Cousins. Thompson is down with that, as he told Nick Friedell of ESPN.
“That would be awesome,” Thompson told ESPN. “I don’t know if that’s ever happened in the history of the NBA, so that would be awesome. It gets me excited just thinking about it.”
“I hadn’t thought about it, to be honest,” Curry said of the possibility of having five Warriors playing for Team USA. “I’m worried about these nine months that we got till June. Obviously, if that’s the way it shapes out, that would be amazing.
Sure, by next August when the World Championships take place Cousins almost certainly will not be with Golden State and the Warriors aren’t convinced Durant will be either, but there is still a bond.
Kevin Durant has two Olympic gold medals (2012 and 2016), whole Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins, and Klay Thompson each have one (2016).
Curry is expected to play in 2020 if healthy because he wants to add a gold medal to his resume, to go with his two World Cup golds. Although he joked that Kerr being the coach meant he didn’t want to go anymore.
“That decision really ruined my chances of playing,” Curry said sarcastically. “I don’t want to see Coach [Kerr] more than I have to. Coach Popovich should have known that before he hired Steve that nobody wants to play for Steve. It’s an unfortunate situation.”