At the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Team USA failed to claim a single medal. For a country that hosts a tournament that controversially crowns “World Champion” every season, the ridicule that followed was to be expected.
Essentially, they failed to put together their best side and found out the hard way that the rest of the world wasn’t the cakewalk it used to be. Which is why ahead of the 2024 Olympics (Paris), LeBron James has committed to restoring his nation’s former reputation.
James chose to sit out the last Olympics in Tokyo in 2021. After losing in the first round for the first time in his career to the Phoenix Suns, the injured and dejected Los Angeles Laker told the press that he’d “play for the Tune Squad this summer instead of the Olympics,” in reference to the production of Space Jam: A New Legacy
The man certainly hasn’t gotten any younger since then. Despite that, at 38 years old, he’s gone on to set the all-time NBA points record and is currently approaching his 21st season in the league. And lest we forget: LeBron James has already won two Olympic gold medals as well as cemented his basketball legacy a million times over. Meaning he definitely does not need this.
But, as with the majority of professional sport’s greatest competitors, he’s still hellbent on winning. According to a report from Shams Charania (via The Athletic), LeBron James is currently assembling a group of future Hall of Famers for the USA’s forthcoming campaign. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum, and Draymond Green are all expected to join.
Separately, Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox, and Kyrie Irving have also expressed serious interest in filling out this team; USA Basketball executive director Grant Hill having already stated that this year’s World Cup would not be a requirement to be considered for Team USA in the 2024 Olympics. Smart choice.
We aren’t going to predict when any of these guys will retire, although this will likely be something of a “Last Dance” for a lot of this era’s historically great players, as well as a torch-passing moment to NBA’s young stars like Tatum and Booker. We’re certainly a lot more excited to hear that Curry and Durant may possibly be reuniting as teammates.
While the vast majority of the players outlined above are well acquainted with the Olympic team, this would (surprisingly) mark the debut of Steph Curry. The Baby-Faced Assassin has played for the USA in the FIBA World Cup before, but he’s reportedly only now interested in the 2024 Olympics due to Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr’s involvement with Team USA.
This would also give LeBron James the opportunity to work with Tyronn Lue and Erik Spoelstra once again — the latter two being assistant coaches of Team USA as well as head coaches of LeBron James-led NBA championship teams (Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, respectively).
Team USA has won the last four Olympic gold medals in basketball, but only two of the last six FIBA World Cups. Now that James has expressed interest, all of the game’s greatest players will naturally flock towards the opportunity to share the court with him.
In the 2020 NBA bubble, Udonis Haslem famously picked up the mic in a players-only meeting and asked: “Bron, what are we doing?” The rest of the NBA still hangs off his every word. It’s hard to say whether LeBron James was inspired to create the Redeem Team 2.0 by Noah Lyles’ comments, Dillon Brooks scoring 39 points against the USA in the bronze medal game, or simply the opportunity to play with other greats one last time…
In any case, this team’s winning every game they play by at least 50 points.