LeBron James and Stephen Curry are among a legion of NBA superstars gearing up for next year’s Paris Olympics. This comes hard on the heels of USA’s fourth-position finish in the Basketball World Cup. In their bronze medal game, the USA lost to Canada and that they had no other men, barring three current All-Stars with national team experience, is also said to be the reason behind their poor outing in the FIBA World Cup.
The Athletic reported that James, a two-time Olympic champion and four-time NBA champion, is actively recruiting fellow NBA stars as they prepare for their fifth straight gold in France next year. Quoting multiple League sources, The Athletic reported that James has, apart from Curry, a four-time NBA champion guard with the Golden State Warriors, spoke with numerous other stars to him with USAB next year.
Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum and Draymond Green among others are prepared to commit to next year’s marquee event. The report further said that Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox and Kyrie Irving have also shown interest in committing to James’ efforts.
James started speaking with fellow stars much before the USA, helmed by Anthony Edwards and Mikal Bridges, failed to pull off an impressive performance at the World Cup. James’ efforts were on irrespective of how the team performed. Interestingly, the national team has struggled at the last two world cups, while winning four consecutive golds at the Olympics.
LeBron James, who has not played for Team USA since the 2012 Games in London and will turn 39 in December, and Durant, a three-time Olympian and gold medallist who will be 35 by next summer, are viewing the Paris games as a final stint with USA Basketball, sources said. James, who turns 39 in December, last represented Team USA at the London Olympics in 2012, and Durant, who will turn 35 next summer, is seeing the French Olympics as a “last dance” with the national side.
Curry has never been a part of the Olympics but won two World Cups in 2010 and 2014. James, Durant and Curry have communicated with each other about perhaps their last USA run, together, the report said. Tatum, Green and Lillard were part of the gold-medal-winning squad at Tokyo, where Durant was the MVP.
Grant Hill, the USA Basketball managing director, is in the know of James and of other well-established American stars’ interest in committing for the next summer. However, Hill declined to comment for The Athletic story. Having said that, several USA officials have acknowledged that the Paris team will look different from the one that just finished the World Cup.