The 2019 NBA offseason was not a good one for Team USA basketball as the majority of All-Star players declined to play in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
As Team USA finished seventh with a less than stellar roster, it was the worst finish for since they began using NBA players and some ALl-Star players are already committing to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in response.
The Los Angeles Lakers have a pair of All-Star players with international experience as both LeBron James and Anthony Davis were part of the 2012 London team that won a gold medal. James also won in 2008 and now everyone is wondering if both could also head to Tokyo.
For the 34-year-old, he sounded open to the idea. “I don’t know. I would love to,” James noted during 2019 Lakers Media Day. “I want to stay healthy as well, that’s most important. I was not happy about how we did this summer … We’ll see how I can do throughout this season and I will address that at some point.”
“Hopefully, I will have an opportunity to have a conversation with Coach Pop and see what his direction is going forward with Team USA. I will always bleed red, white, and blue — that’s for sure.”
Health is definitely of the utmost importance for James, especially after suffering his first major injury during the 2018-19 NBA season. As James said, he was disappointed with the outcome for Team USA, but he also praised the team and coaching staff for their effort at the World Cup.
While James stopped a little short of a full-on commitment, the same can’t be said for Davis as he appeared on ESPN: The Jump with Rachel Nichols:
“I wanna play. I wanna play USA basketball if I get the opportunity to do so. If they invite me, I would definitely love to do so. So hopefully, guys are listening. Tell Pop I’m ready.”
Davis sounds all-in for the 2020 Olympics and barring some unfortunate injury, it’s hard to see him not getting an invite.
James will surely get an invite as well if he wants to play but heading into his 17th season and with a pair of gold medals already on his mantle, no one would fault him if he chose to sit this one out.
Team USA might have had their worst finish ever this summer but with the names already committing to Tokyo, the chances of that happening again are slim to none.