STANFORD, Calif. — Not solely do the Golden State Warriors have an opportunity to win their third NBA championship in a row this season, additionally they can turn out to be the primary NBA group in historical past to land 5 gamers on Group USA upfront of this summer time’s Basketball World Cup in China and the 2020 Summer time Olympics in Tokyo.
Within the wake of Warriors head coach Steve Kerr being named an assistant coach on Gregg Popovich’s Group USA workers, Warriors All-Star and 2016 gold medalist Klay Thompson admitted that the potential for representing his nation alongside teammates Stephen Curry, Draymond Inexperienced, Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins could be particular.
Steve Kerr was named an assistant coach below Gregg Popovich on Group USA.
LeBron James’ first sport towards the Warriors as a Laker drew almost 2 million viewers, making it ESPN’s most-watched preseason sport ever.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated Draymond Inexperienced is “doing higher” and is anticipated to play in Friday’s preseason finale towards the Lakers.
“That may be superior,” Thompson informed ESPN. “I do not know if that is ever occurred within the historical past of the NBA, so that might be superior. It will get me excited simply occupied with it.”
The likelihood gained steam Thursday after USA Basketball introduced that Kerr could be on Popovich’s workers alongside Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and Villanova head coach Jay Wright. USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo says that every one 5 gamers have made recognized their curiosity in enjoying for Group USA and might be thought-about because the group begins to return collectively over the subsequent few months.
“The very first thing we needed to decide, and we predict we now have a reasonably good really feel for this, is who’s actually dedicated,” Colangelo stated throughout a convention name. “Who’s actually excited by shifting ahead with us. There are a number of candidates on the Warriors who’ve indicated they want to be a part of it. In order we type of watch this season, and this isn’t the key sauce, however mainly we now have to watch what’s occurring in the course of the course of the common season within the NBA because it pertains to accidents, because it pertains to different circumstances that come up earlier than we get down to actually inviting the variety of people that we plan to return to our camp subsequent summer time in preparation for the World Cup.”
Colangelo famous that Kerr wasn’t chosen in order that it might assist get gamers corresponding to Curry and Durant to join one other run with USA Basketball, however the relationships the coach has fashioned along with his gamers cannot harm. Durant received gold medals for Group USA in 2012 and 2016, and Inexperienced and Cousins every received one in 2016 as effectively. Warriors reserve Andre Iguodala received one in 2012. Curry, who has but to take part in an Olympics, helped Group USA win gold within the 2010 World Championships and the 2014 World Cup.
“I hadn’t considered it, to be sincere,” Curry stated of the potential for having 5 Warriors beginning for Group USA. “I am nervous about these 9 months that we received until June. Clearly, if that is the way in which it shapes out, that might be wonderful. However a number of time between from time to time so — USAB’s executed a fantastic job of placing collectively the appropriate expertise. Clearly there’s lots to choose from. [USAB has] the appropriate management with Coach Okay and his workers and now coach Popovich and his workers, in order that’s why I have been glad to be part of that within the World Championship, World Cup conditions and hopefully the Olympics in two years. We’ll see what occurs.”
For his half, Thompson is absolutely dedicated to attempting to win one other gold medal within the 2020 Video games.
“I might like to,” he stated. “I had such a good time enjoying for Group USA. I am undefeated in my Group USA profession. I might love to return.”
Kerr, who was part of the 1986 Group USA squad that received the World Championships in Madrid, is happy about his upcoming Olympic expertise. He tried out for the 1988 group that went to Seoul however didn’t make the ultimate reduce.
“I am actually, actually excited,” Kerr stated after Thursday’s follow. “Particularly as a result of it is Pop. However clearly it is an honor irrespective of who’s teaching to signify your nation. To be on the workers of the nationwide group is a large honor. I get the most effective of each worlds. I get to be on the workers and I get to work with Pop. So I am actually enthusiastic about that.”
As for the potential for having all 5 of his gamers on Group USA on the identical time, Kerr would not let his thoughts wander that far but.
“We do not know what the group’s going to appear like precisely,” Kerr stated. “However I am hoping that occurs. We’ll see — I am a troublesome critic. We’ll see in the event that they make the group or not.”
Kerr spoke with a little bit of a smile about that final half, the identical type of humorousness that Curry used when requested about Kerr’s presence on the brand new Group USA workers.
“That call actually ruined my possibilities of enjoying,” Curry stated sarcastically. “I do not wish to see Coach [Kerr] greater than I’ve to. Coach Popovich ought to have recognized that earlier than he employed Steve that no one needs to play for Steve. It is an unlucky scenario.”
For Thompson, the thought of being alongside Kerr once more throughout an Olympic cycle sounded nice.
“I nonetheless received to make the group,” Thompson stated. “However that might be phenomenal. That may be nice. That may be superior. That may be fairly candy.”
So far as LeBron James’ potential involvement is worried, Colangelo famous that James nonetheless has an curiosity in returning to play for Group USA. James performed for Group USA within the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Video games and hasn’t shut the door on another run with the nationwide group.
“LeBron, he did the exercise for the day and a half that we labored out final summer time,” Colangelo stated. “Which was extra of a get-together, simply to get a learn on gamers who — who was in, who was pondering possibly, possibly not [playing]. LeBron did present; to me that is a sign he has curiosity in enjoying. However the season, the season takes its toll on gamers. And as gamers age, it takes just a little bit extra toll. So we monitor, we’ll keep in contact. We’ll see how issues [come together], and every participant’s going to make their very own particular person selections on whether or not or not they wish to commit and take part, and we’ll [move forward].”