Coming fresh off of a disappointing seventh-place finish at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, Team USA will look to bounce back at the Olympics in Tokyo next summer. Unlike this past summer, they’re expected to be at or near full-strength for a third consecutive gold medal run in Japan.
Earlier this month, All-Star guards Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry said that, barring injury, they plan on being in Tokyo with Team USA next summer. On Friday, during the Houston Rockets’ media day, James Harden added his name to the list of prospective guards for the 2020 Olympics.
James Harden says “it’s one of my goals to represent this beautiful country” in the Olympics next summer.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) September 27, 2019
Harden was one of the first 20 players to be invited to compete for a spot on Team USA’s World Cup roster in June, but he withdrew his name in July to focus on the upcoming season with Russell Westbrook and the Rockets.
Should Harden, Curry, and Lillard all keep their names in the player pool next summer, it would obviously be a gigantic boost for the Americans in their pursuit of winning a gold medal. Yes, international basketball has made serious strides over the last several years, but at full strength, it’s hard to imagine a backcourt that can match the firepower that the USA would possess. Every guy has left the door open to skip out next summer if need be, but for now, USA Basketball appears to be in good shape.