While seeing Austin Reaves with Team USA this summer was a fun experience for Lakers fans, the overall performance of the team was subpar, to say the least. Bowing out without a medal to show — and giving Dillon Brooks a career game in the process — served as an embarrassing enough defeat to rally the troops once more.
Not long after America’s fourth-place finish in the FIBA World Cup, a report emerged that LeBron James was at the forefront of recruiting players to join Team USA next summer at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Monday offered the first time for LeBron to discuss playing in the Olympics himself. And while he wasn’t quite as upfront as others around the league were at their respective media days, he certainly didn’t say no.
“Yeah, I do. I do have interest,” LeBron said. “We’ll see what happens. As far as physical toll, I’ll see how I feel at the end of this season. From the players that we have that can fill that roster up, I don’t think it’d be too much of a physical toll. I wouldn’t have to do much. Rebound a little bit, pass a little bit, block some shots.”
Speaking later on Spectrum Sportsnet, LeBron said he “did not like” how Team USA finished in the World Cup. And, again, while he wouldn’t commit and offered nothing more than a “we’ll see” response, he also noted he was “excited about it.”
Elsewhere across the league, Kevin Durant fully committed to Team USA and Steph Curry joined him in his declaration to play in Paris.
Kevin Durant says that he is playing in the 2024 Paris Olympics.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) October 2, 2023
On the possibility of participating in the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Steph Curry says, "I want to be playing. It's the one thing I haven't done ... I definitely want to be there. I want to be on the team."— Kendra Andrews (@kendra__andrews) October 2, 2023
Anthony Davis technically has a gold medal as part of the team in 2012, but he barely featured in that run in London and definitely not in any truly competitive minutes. Considering Team USA’s general lack of depth at the center position, Davis could be a particularly vital player to get on the roster.
Unlike LeBron, he was far more eager to commit when asked on Spectrum Sportsnet about playing in Paris in 2024.
“If they ask me, I’m in. Just waiting on the ask,” Davis said. “I mean, I only did it once, really. And I didn’t really — LeBron, Kobe, [Chris Paul], Melo — I was sitting on the bench. So, if they ask, I’m definitely in.”
As you can tell, the roster will fill up very quickly with top talent if guys start committing. The good thing for both LeBron and AD is that both are in a position where Team USA will wait for them.
And if both do commit, then Team USA’s chances of a much better finish in Paris than in the Philippines increase drastically.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.