It’s been a highly disappointing trip for Team USA at this year’s FIBA World Cup after their fourth-place finish. The roster had flaws, and they lacked typical star power and international experience.
To bring the USA men’s team back to international glory, though, it sounds like them upgrading to a stacked team for the 2024 Paris Olympics is a real possibility.
As Shams Charania has reported, LeBron James is ready to commit to playing in Paris and has been busy recruiting. Lots of big-name players are interested:
James has spoken to Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum and Draymond Green, and they are all prepared to commit as well. Separately, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox and Dallas’ Kyrie Irving also have serious interest in committing, league sources said.
James’ effort started well before the USA World Cup team, led by Anthony Edwards and Mikal Bridges, lost at the World Cup, and was not related to whether this summer’s team won or lost.
Charania also added that USA officials have acknowledged that the team that goes to Paris for the 2024 Olympics will likely have a lot more star power than the squad at this year’s World Cup.
There’s still a long way to go before players truly commit and a team becomes anything close to official, but it sounds like there’s real potential for the USA to put together a seriously impressive team. According to Charania, James and Durant see the Paris Olympics as a “last dance” with Team USA. Considering their respective ages, and the possible spectacle of putting together a superstar-studded team for one last gold medal run before retirement, it would be a fun way to go out from international play.
From a Sixers perspective, the interesting story to follow as the Olympics gradually approach is whether Joel Embiid decides to play in international competition. From there, it would all come down to whether he chooses to represent the USA or France, now that he has French citizenship.