It’s no secret that Team USA had a poor showing during the FIBA World Cup this summer, finishing seventh with a roster that was missing the typical firepower we’ve come to expect from them. In the weeks leading up to the tournament, some of the top players in the NBA were dropping out left and right from competing in the World Cup, names like James Harden, Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis. It left USA Basketball managing director with the rate at which the top talent was backing out after previously committing to the tournament.
In an NBA offseason that had a lot of movement, changing the landscape almost entirely entering the 2019-20 season, many players opted to sit in what became an incredibly busy summer of free agency signings and trades. The FIBA World Cup doesn’t hold as much weight as the Olympics, and it appears that when the 2020 Games roll around, there will be some familiar names on the roster. Curry and Lillard to Team USA for the upcoming Games, and now Davis has announced his interest in competing again.
“I want to play USA basketball,” Davis said via ESPN’s “The Jump” at Lakers media day. “If I get the opportunity to, and they invite me, I would definitely love to. Pop, I’m ready.”
The major difference for Davis specifically to pledge his commitment to next summer over the World Cup, is the busy summer he went through from being traded and filming Space Jam 2 with LeBron James.
“Last summer, there was just a lot going on with the trade, obviously a contract year, and there was a lot that I had to factor in,” Davis said on Saturday. “Next summer, hopefully I will make a decision about everything [regarding free agency] … so I think that was the biggest difference.”
With Davis added to the list of Curry and Lillard, along with Harden expressing interest during media day that he too would love to “represent this beautiful country,” Team USA’s roster is shaping up to be far better than the product they put on the court this summer. USA Basketball might have hit a low point this summer, but it looks like they’ll be back on track with all the usual suspects willing to compete next year in Tokyo.