LeBron James, Steph Curry, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant highlight US player pool for Paris Olympics


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Later this year at the Olympic Games in Paris, the USA men’s basketball national basketball team will look to win its fifth consecutive gold medal. Ahead of the highly-anticipated Summer Olympics, Team USA unveiled the 41 basketball stars who are in the player pool.

NBA superstars LeBron James, Joel Embiid, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant headline the list. But, in a somewhat surprising decision, Warriors forward Draymond Green was excluded.

Green was a member of the American team that earned gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. He also helped Team USA win the gold medal at the COVID-delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

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LeBron James and Stephen Curry on the court during a game

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers speaks to Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors during their game at Chase Center on October 18, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Green had expressed some interest last year in being part of the Paris-bound team. But, he missed 16 games spanning mid-December to mid-January while serving what was originally called an indefinite suspension following  an altercation with Phoenix center Jusuf Nurkić. Green said he considered retiring and sought counseling before he was reinstated.

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Golden State head coach Steve Kerr will resume his Team USA head coaching duties for the upcoming summer competition, while Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra will serve as an assistant coach. 

Los Angeles Clippers’ Tyronn Lue and Gonzaga’s Mark Few will also be on the bench and work as assistants. The final 12-man roster will be finalized in the coming months, with many of those decisions likely hinging upon player health and how deep their respective teams go in the NBA playoffs.

“The United States boasts unbelievable basketball talent and I am thrilled that many of the game’s superstars have expressed interest in representing our country at the 2024 Olympic Summer Games,” men’s national team managing director Grant Hill said. 

“It is a privilege to select the team that will help us toward the goal of once again standing atop the Olympic podium. This challenging process will unfold over the next several months as we eagerly anticipate the start of national team activity.”

Joel Embiid and Kevin Durant on the court during a game

January 31, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The 76ers defeated the Warriors 113-104. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

A total of 13 players in the pool already have Olympic gold medals, with Durant earning three and James having two under his belt. If he plays and the U.S. wins, Durant would be the first men’s player with four basketball golds.

“I will play in the Olympics,” Durant adamantly said last fall.

Curry has yet to represent the country in the Olympics, but he previously expressed interest in doing so. 

“Definitely want to be there,” Curry said last fall. “Definitely want to be on the team.”

Also picked for the pool: Jarrett Allen, Paolo Banchero, Desmond Bane, Scottie Barnes, Mikal Bridges, Jaylen Brown, Jalen Brunson, Alex Caruso, Anthony Edwards, De’Aaron Fox, Aaron Gordon, Tyrese Haliburton, Josh Hart, Tyler Herro, Chet Holmgren, Brandon Ingram, Jaren Jackson Jr., Cam Johnson, Walker Kessler, Kawhi Leonard, Donovan Mitchell, Bobby Portis, Austin Reaves, Duncan Robinson, Derrick White and Trae Young.

Anthony Edwards reacts during a game

Mar 13, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) reacts with Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) during the second half at State Farm Arena. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

Embiid, the reigning NBA MVP, could have decided to play for France (he has dual citizenship) or even Cameroon, his birthplace, if it qualifies. He chose to play for the U.S. last fall instead.

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The Philadelphia 76ers big man scored a franchise record 70 points during Monday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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