The Golden State Warriors might be the best NBA team in the league, as they’re starring in the face of a third straight championship this season. But what would be an incredible feat to pull off is having five of their players on Team USA. This would be in advance of this summer’s Basketball World Cup in China as well as the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. But it wouldn’t necessarily stop there. Warriors coach, Steve Kerr, was named as one of the assistant coaches for Team USA. Of course, Gregg Popovich is the head coach. The legendary coach took over the national team program from Mike Krzyzewski after the 2016 Olympics and will soon oversee his first major tournament in charge.
That said, Team USA still has to qualify for these vents. But if they’re looking at 5 players from the Warriors, how could they not qualify? Klay Thompson admitted that the possibility of representing his country alongside his teammates – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and DeMarcus Cousins would be very special. The idea of players from the Warriors representing Team USA gained more momentum after the Kerr announcement was made. Kerr will be working alongside Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan and Villanova coach Jay Wright. USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo says that all five players have made known their interest in playing for Team USA and will be considered as the team starts to come together over the next few months.
What’s interesting to me is that these players put their names forward, and then they are chosen to play – if the team wants them. I guess I made the assumption that they were picked because of their skill, rather than by expressing interest first. Sure, skill will certainly play into how people are picked, but the fact that Steve Kerr is one of the coaches is also going to play into the players they choose. If it came down to a player who was better than one of his players, who would Kerr choose? Presumably, the best player for the game. But what if only mediocre players put their interest forward? (Note – I’m not suggesting any of these players are mediocre, I am making a statement)
In fact, Colangelo has noted that Kerr wasn’t chosen in order to get players like Curry and Durant to sign up for another run with Team USA, but his connection to these players certainly can’t hurt. Does that mean that USA Basketball has a hard time getting elite athletes? Maybe that’s not a bad thing. Presumably, Team USA always wins gold medals. I mean it’s not such a farfetched idea, considering the vast amount of talent in the NBA, and typically these players originate from the United States.
All of that said, it will be interesting to see who makes the team. There is no guarantee that all five players will make Team USA. But there’s also no guarantee that all five players will be with Golden State when the games take place, so maybe all this talk is a bit premature? What isn’t surprising is the fact that LeBron has expressed an interest in returning to play for Team USA.