It’s been a good-news-and-bad-news week for Team USA.
The bad news happened on the court, as the U.S. lost to eventual champions Germany in the semifinals and then to its northern neighbor, with Canada taking the bronze medal in the Philippines.
All told, Team USA lost three games during the FIBA World Cup and also lost to Lithuania in the group stage. The so-called “dream team” sent by the United States across the Pacific achieved little results.
On the plus side, their fourth-place finish in Manila was three spots better than their seventh-place finish in China in 2019. They also qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
Even better, it seems to be helping to bring back those gold medals that were once just a formality.
NBA all-time scoring leader and three-time Olympian LeBron James has strongly hinted that he is ready for another Olympics.
Oh, and he brought some friends.
James said he has spoken with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum and Draymond Green, all of whom will at least verbally commit to wearing the Paris Saint-Germain jersey. Wear red, white and blue jerseys.
A roster composed of these players will be in stark contrast to that of Manila, where only three players are current NBA All-Stars and none have any national team experience.
Although the 36-year-old Curry is a two-time World Cup gold medalist, he has never participated in the Olympics. James will be 39 in Paris and Durant will be 35. All three said they were eager for one final push. It’s now. LA28 is not an option.
Despite a poor performance at the World Cup, the United States has won the past four Olympic gold medals. A lineup of Curry, James, Durant, Green and Davis will be overwhelming favorites to achieve five consecutive victories.
The 2024 Paris Olympics will begin on July 26, 2024, and Team USA will obviously need a full training camp and exhibition games before official competition. There is no doubt that James and his future teammates also hope that the NBA playoffs will last until May and June, so that they will have little rest time between the end of the NBA playoffs and the start of the Olympic Games. That can be a big ask for a player who is closer to retirement than his prime. James, Davis, Durant and Curry have all missed multiple NBA games due to various injuries over the past few seasons.