Kerr said he hopes Durant returns to Team USA for 2024 Paris Olympics
Kevin Durant looked every bit the best player on the planet during the Tokyo Olympics, averaging 20.7 points per game on 52.9% shooting for the tournament and leading Team USA with 29 points in the gold medal game.
So yes, new Team USA coach Steve Kerr said he would like Durant back for the 2024 Paris Olympics. He said so before Durant’s Nets shredded the Warriors this week (scoring 91 points in the first half).
“I mean, he’s been so dominant with Team USA and, like I said, he’s a guy who just, he loves to play. So we’re hoping he decides to keep going,” Kerr said via the Associated Press. Kerr also joked he would “most likely pull him aside tonight” to make a recruiting pitch.
Before the USA heads to Paris to defend its gold it has to qualify via the World Cup this summer in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines (the USA will play its games in Manilla). The top two teams from the Americas at the World Cup qualify for Paris. The one little speed bump in all this planning? Technically the USA has not qualified for the World Cup yet. Because FIBA — in its infinite wisdom — went with qualifiers during the NBA (and major European leagues) season, and the NBA isn’t shutting down for a week to please FIBA, we have had to send G-Leaguers to do the job. They’ve done well but we still need one win on the road against Brazil or Uruguay in February to lock up our spot, and even if we lost both Team USA likely qualifies on tiebreakers (we are 8-2 in this round of qualifying so far).
The Team USA roster for the World Cup is not yet set, that will happen as we move into 2023 (and it will be a long list at first as some players will drop out for health or other reasons as it gets closer). However, Team USA will have little trouble attracting some of the biggest names for the Paris Olympics — winning that gold medal still has a lot of meaning to players. Plus, there are few better platforms for your brand internationally than the Olympics.
Whether Durant will be part of those games remains to be seen — he does already have three Olympic golds — but we know what Kerr wants.