Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY
Published 7:18 a.m. ET Sept. 18, 2019 | Updated 7:40 a.m. ET Sept. 18, 2019CLOSE
Jerry West was a legendary player for the Los Angeles Lakers who also found success as an executive in the 1980s and recently with the Clippers.
USA TODAYSteph Curry is a two-time NBA MVP and three-time champion. By next year, he desires another mark on his distinguished resume: Olympian. Curry has never played with the U.S. Olympic team, which will go for its fourth consecutive Olympics gold medal in Tokyo next summer after a disappointing seventh-place finish at the FIBA World Cup this past month. Barring injury, Curry plans on representing the U.S. “Definitely wanna go,” Curry told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “I’ve never been on the Olympic team. I’ve been on two World Cup Championship gold medal teams. But the Olympics is the experience that I want. And next year will hopefully be it.”That is the plan, for sure. You know, obviously knock on wood, you don’t want any injuries or things like that to interfere.” What went wrong?: Burning questions for USA Basketball ahead of OlympicsNEW FITS: Warriors unveil new uniform combinations for the 2019-20 NBA seasonTeam USA’s shortcomings in China were highlighted by the lack of star power on the roster because the country’s superstars largely sat out the tournament. That prompted Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo to recently say he would take note of the players who opted to not participate this year. That hasn’t hindered Curry’s confidence in the U.S. squad’s ability to get the job done in 2020. Plus, Curry would have a familiar face on the coaching staff, as Warriors coach Steve Kerr is an assistant to head coach Gregg Popovich. “We’re still the best,” Curry told ESPN. “If we get the guys that are supposed to be there, in terms of, you know, representing us in the Olympic stage and the commitment’s been there, and I think it’ll be there next year.”Curry also opened up about former teammate Kevin Durant’s comments to the Wall Street Journal that he naturally did not feel fully embraced during his time with Golden State — a three-year stretch in which the Warriors made three Finals appearances and won two — because he was not drafted by the team. Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, but will likely miss all of this season due to an Achilles’ injury he suffered in the Finals against the Toronto Raptors. “I mean, that’s tough. There’s so many narratives that go on, especially when you’re at the top of the league,” Curry told ESPN. “No matter how, you know, the full transition happens to Brooklyn, him separating himself from the Warriors — that’s gonna happen. I think he knows, you know, what we were about as teammates, what we were about as friends on and off the court. And again, nobody is gonna take away the accomplishments we had. But at the end of the day, whatever he, you know, needed to do to make that decision and however he wants to explain that — that’s just what’s gonna happen.”Durant had some gripes with the motion offense employed by Kerr, saying it “works to a certain point.” Curry doesn’t feel that way and points to the winning as a sign of it being effective. “At the end of the day, we had (a lot of) talent and there was an expectation of us figuring out how to balance all that,” he told ESPN. “And we talked a lot about it throughout the three-year run. It wasn’t always perfect, but I think in terms of, you know, the results and what we were able to do on the floor, that kinda speaks for itself. We all wanna play iso-ball at the end of the day in some way, shape or form. But I’d rather have some championships too.”AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide
Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY