Curry, Lillard say they will play in 2020 Olympics
NBA.com Global on Sep 19, 2019 09:14 AM
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NBA.com staff report
From the sound of it, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is ready to suit up for Team USA in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The same can be said for another All-Star guard in the Western Conference, the Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard.
Curry, in an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, says he's committed to playing for the team next year. If he does so, it would mark the former two-time Kia MVP's first appearance on the Olympic basketball stage.
"That is the plan, for sure," Curry said, per ESPN's Nick Friedell. "You know, obviously knock on wood, you don't want any injuries or things like that to interfere.
"Definitely wanna go. I've never been on the Olympic team. I've been on two World Cup championship gold-medal teams. But the Olympics is the experience that I want. And next year will hopefully be it."
Lillard spoke with James McKern of news.com.au in Australia during a trip to Sydney as Adidas’ Global Ambassador. After Team USA's seventh-place finish at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Lillard also made no bones about his plans next year:
“I plan on being a part of that. I plan on playing,” Lillard said exclusively to news.com.au.
When asked about adding an Olympic medal to his trophy cabinet, Lillard was emphatic: “Definitely”.
Curry has participated with Team USA as a member of the FIBA World Cup championship-winning teams in 2010 and '14. Lillard has been in the USA Basketball mix since 2014, but has never participated in international play with the team.
Team USA's showing in the latest World Cup assured it of the worst tournament showing in program history. Several key NBA stars -- such as Lillard, Anthony Davis, James Harden, CJ McCollum, Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan and others -- withdrew from the team either before or during this summer's training camp.
In an interview with SI.com on Tuesday, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said he felt "disappointment" over the players who backed out. Colangelo also said he'd "remember" the players who "didn't show up." But Curry's declaration that he intends to play in 2020 may open the gates for those players who didn't show up this summer to play again next summer.
Davis, Lillard and Harden were late withdrawals from Team USA, but Colangelo said that may not hurt them in being a part of the U.S. National Team come the 2020.
"We're still the best," Curry told ESPN. "If we get the guys that are supposed to be there, in terms of, you know, representing us in the Olympic stage and the commitment's been there, and I think it'll be there next year."