The United States national team was recently left off the podium entirely at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, claiming fourth place after consecutive losses to Germany and Canada. This should be taken with a grain of salt, as their top scorer and best player was Anthony Edwards, a 22-year-old one-time NBA All-Star. Team USA has now finished fourth in consecutive FIBA World Cup appearances, with a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics wedged between the lackluster FIBA World Cup efforts. The rosters are drastically different, as the United States almost always brings its best possible roster to the Olympics. At the same time, the FIBA World Cup team usually features low-tier All-Stars or even role players. For instance, this year’s FIBA team had four combined All-Star appearances, whereas the 2020 Tokyo Olympics team featured 40 combined All-Star selections. Immediately following the news of the United States failing to reach the top three in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, some of the NBA’s biggest stars and longest-tenured global players chimed in on the next opportunity for redemption for team USA, the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
LeBron’s Last Dance, Global Edition
“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 medalist who will be 35 by next summer, are viewing the Paris games as a “last dance” with USA Basketball, sources said.“via Bleacher Nation
Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news of LeBron James’s intentions for the 2024 Paris Olympic games following some cryptic social media activity by the four-time NBA Champion after the FIBA World Cup disastrous finish. James was seen commenting on a post with a potential 2024 Paris Olympics USA squad featuring some of the country’s best players, himself included. It’s rumored that fellow stars Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Devin Booker are on board with the idea and would also join the team.
Zach LaVine Running It Back?
LaVine was a part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic team that took home a gold medal for the United States, and it would be hard to imagine he won’t be invited back. He was effectively the national team’s sixth man for the tournament, scoring a bench-high 10.6 points per game, second most assists on the roster, and led the team with a 47% three-point shooting percentage. His role was simplified to an elite lengthy defender, catch-and-shoot spot-up wing, and transition high-flyer, three of his biggest strengths in the NBA. If the biggest names in United States basketball are set to commit, his role would be further diminished but surely still utilized on the bench. His athleticism and three-point efficiency make it difficult not to warrant an invite on the global stage.
The United States will look for their 17th gold medal in 21 Summer Olympic Games tournaments and their fifth consecutive first-place finish. Will James, Durant, and Curry seek any Chicago Bulls to join their superteam, or will Bulls fans have to look elsewhere around the globe to find representation? Vucevic and Carlik Jones will surely be playing qualifying rounds with their home countries, and by 2024, there might be some new faces in Chicago to look out for.