Team USA will be united in their goal for Olympic glory in Rio this August, right?
Well, probably. But Kyrie Irving made it clear in a recent radio appearance that he thinks NBA bragging rights certainly extend outside of America’s borders:
Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green will definitely be made to remember who they lost to on a daily basis when they’re traveling for the gold. Steph Curry, sitting out these Olympics after injury concerns put a damper on his postseason play, will be spared such reminders. LeBron James, for the first time since 2004, will also not be around to speak of what happens in America.
But you can still consider this another log in the building fire between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, who have a visible rivalry between them after two-straight Finals showdowns, a lot of head games, and even some nut games.
Team USA has been the host of inter-NBA tensions before — that’s what happens when you smash all of the best American players together. Basketball excellence tends to prevail, with only Isiah Thomas’ omission from the 1992 Dream Team standing as an instance of a beef so simmering that it made an Olympic partnership unfeasible.