If the Warriors reach the heights they aspire to next season, Steph Curry's Olympics debut could have to wait.
The 2021 NBA Finals could end as late as July 22, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday, which would be just one day before the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Those Olympics, like the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wojnarowski reported the Conference finals tentatively are scheduled to start June 22, which would leave less than a month for players on eliminated Conference finalists to recover in time for the Olympics. Coming off a condensed 72-game schedule beginning Dec. 22, Curry's Olympic participation -- as well as that of his Warriors teammates -- will be in serious doubt if Golden State goes on a long playoff run.
Curry played in a limited role for the United States at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, later starring for the Americans at the 2014 Basketball World Cup ahead of his first MVP-winning season with the Warriors. But Curry wasn't an Olympian in London in 2012, and he didn't participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, withdrawing from consideration due to ankle and knee injuries.
The Warriors were in the middle of the 2016 NBA Finals when Curry opted out, and Draymond Green and Klay Thompson began the Americans' gold medal-winning run fewer than two months after the end of the Finals. Curry will have had significant time off between the end of the pandemic-suspended 2019-20 season and the start of the 2020-21 campaign, but he'll also be 33 at the start of the Tokyo Olympics.
With two golds in international competition, Curry already has had an accomplished career wearing the stars and stripes. Three championship rings, two MVPs and epitomizing the NBA's 3-point revolution have firmly entrenched Curry's place in basketball history.
That's a strong résumé by any stretch, but an Olympic gold medal might very well be missing from it at the end of Curry's career due to factors entirely out of his control.