Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Stephen Curry were among the NBA superstars who said on Monday they were interested in playing for the United States at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
An American lineup of NBA talent will seek a fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal next year in France, where Durant could become the first US man with four basketball golds.
“I will play in the Olympics next year,” Durant said during media day for the NBA Phoenix Suns.
All-time NBA scoring leader James, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar who won gold in 2008 and 2012, downplayed his interest, saying simply, “Yeah, I do. I do have interest. We’ll see what happens.”
But other players said that four-time NBA champion James, a forward who turns 39 in December, has been a major force behind the scenes in pulling together top players for the 2024 Olympic roster.
“I would love to,” said Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers. “I know Bron is in the forefront of creating a hell of a roster. But that’s first and foremost on how my body is, how my health is, to finish the season.
“It all depends on how well we do and how far we go this season. That would play a lot into my decision on going and playing over in France.”
James knows well the impact a six-month NBA regular season and two months of playoffs can have upon players and their bodies even before the grind of preparing and playing for Olympic gold.
But James downplayed the wear and tear factor.
“Physical toll? I’ll see how I feel at the end of the season,” he said.
“From the players that we have here off the top of my head that could fill that roster up, I don’t think it would be too much of a physical toll.
“I wouldn’t have to do much. Rebound a little bit, pass a little bit, defend, block some shots, you know? But we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.”
Lakers power forward Anthony Davis, who figures to be a key big man on the US roster, noted he had already told teammate James that, “If they ask me, I’m in.”
Asked by ESPN if he had been recruiting players for the Olympics, James replied, “We’ve been in communication.”
Golden State Warriors guard Curry, the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-point baskets, has won four NBA titles but never an Olympic gold medal. He wants the chance in Paris.
“I talked to some people about the opportunity and definitely if all things stay the same I want to be playing,” Curry said.
“It’s the one thing I haven’t done. I also understand the opportunity for Team USA to kind of reassert themselves as the dominant in the world and that type of stuff.
“So definitely want to be there, and definitely want to be on the team and hopefully things line up that way where we’re all good.”
Also among those who indicated on Monday an interest in the US 2024 Olympic team were Bam Adebayo, DeMar DeRozan, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Jaylen Brown, Donovan Mitchell, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Julius Randle and Kawhi Leonard.
Those who have previously indicated a desire to play on the squad included Golden State’s Draymond Green and Dallas guard Kyrie Irving.
Another player to consider is reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, who could play for Cameroon, France or the United States. He expects to make a decision soon.
World Cup News
/ 2 weeks ago
A set of six jerseys that Lionel Messi wore during Argentina’s victorious 2022 World...
Saudi Arabia is prepared to host the 2034 World Cup in summer or winter,...
Saudi Arabia is in line to host the 2034 World Cup after FIFA announced...
Rights groups called for “binding commitments” from World Cup host nations after Australia opted...