Friday, July 12, 2024

LeBron James’ 2-word message to Stephen Curry after USA team-up

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Finally, Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is set to represent Team USA basketball. LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers franchise player, has been wanting to team up with Curry for the past few seasons. Now, James gets his wish as they join forces for Team USA.

Players started arriving in Las Vegas on Thursday, with Stephen Curry leading the way as the first to check in for camp, highlighting his eagerness for what will be his debut Olympics. Upon James’ arrival, he dapped up Curry, and enthusiastically uttered, “‘bout time!” to which Curry echoed.

While the 12 players have known each other for years, their journey to become a cohesive team begins in earnest this weekend

After months of preparation, the US Olympic team, aiming for a fifth-consecutive gold medal at the Paris Games later this month, is ready to hit the floor. The team’s first practice is on Saturday in Las Vegas, marking the start of a four-day training camp before their exhibition opener against Canada on Wednesday.

Redeeming Team USA

Last year marked another humbling World Cup experience for Team USA, as they finished fourth in Manila following a seventh-place finish in 2019. The rationale — or justification, if you will — for these setbacks was that the U.S. did not field their strongest possible roster for those tournaments.

Securing big names like Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid and LeBron James for the Olympics puts a very different expectation this time.

James returns to the Olympic team for the first time since 2012, aiming for his third gold medal. Durant is pursuing what could be a record-setting fourth gold medal in men’s Olympic basketball.

Joining them are Adebayo, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday, Jayson Tatum and Anthony Davis, each with one gold medal. Making their Olympic debuts are Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards, Curry, Kawhi Leonard, and Embiid, whom the U.S. convinced to play despite strong interest from France to have the Philadelphia star represent the host nation in Paris.

While the Olympics offer James, Curry and their teammates a chance to redeem last year’s disappointment, the future of Team USA must also focus on consistently fielding top NBA superstars for all major international basketball tournaments, not just the Olympics.

Team USA’s immediate focus is assembling their roster and preparing for the challenging 2024 Olympics. Despite being the favorite to win gold, they are wary of complacency after the lessons learned from last year’s FIBA tournament.

Stephen Curry playing off-ball with LeBron James as primary ball-handler

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (left) and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (right) greet each other after the game at Chase Center.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Reports suggest that LeBron James will start for Team USA at the Olympics. Despite speculation about his age possibly leading to a bench role, James is set to start as a power forward and take on primary ball-handling duties, while Stephen Curry is expected to play off the ball.

At 39 years old, James has demonstrated that Father Time is far from slowing him down, putting up impressive numbers. Last season, he played 71 games and averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game, cementing his status among the NBA’s elite.

With James orchestrating the offense, the team will benefit from optimal scoring opportunities. His exceptional court vision allows him to identify the best shot for each player and recognize who is best positioned to execute it.

Curry, a four-time NBA champion, will play a pivotal role in making this happen. If he and LeBron James can establish chemistry, it could be the catalyst for the team to maximize their potential and regain the dominance reminiscent of the Dream Team era.

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