2024 Olympics

Kerr Considered Favorite To Succeed Popovich As Team USA Coach

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Gregg Popovich as the head coach of Team USA, league sources tell Marc Stein of Substack. Popovich, the Spurs‘ head coach, is stepping down from his position with USA Basketball following his team’s gold medal victory at the Tokyo Olympics.

USA Basketball is undergoing some changes this year, with Grant Hill recently succeeding Jerry Colangelo as the managing director of the program. Naming a new head coach is the first major move that Hill will have to make as part of his new role. He said earlier this month that he hopes to finalize the decision before the start of the NBA regular season on October 19.

As Stein writes, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is viewed as another strong candidate for Team USA’s head coaching position, but Kerr has more international experience, having served as an assistant to Popovich during the 2019 FIBA World Cup as well as the Tokyo Olympics. Spoelstra was involved in the lead-up to the Olympics as well, coaching the U.S. Select Team, but he wasn’t part of the group that traveled to Tokyo.

Kerr’s experience coaching several star players in Golden State and competing in five consecutive NBA Finals makes him a natural fit to manage Team USA’s star-studded rosters and to handle the pressure of international competitions. He also recently confirmed that he’d have interest in the job.

“Of course I’d be interested. I mean, who wouldn’t be? I’ll leave it at that,” Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic in August. “I have no idea how it will all transpire; there are a lot of great candidates out there. And if I were to be considered, that would be an honor.”

Canada May Skip 2024 Olympic Qualifier

The Canadian men’s basketball team can take the first step on the road to the 2024 Olympics later this month, but multiple sources tell Michael Grange of Sportsnet that Canada may skip the qualifying tournament because of COVID-19 concerns.

The FIBA AmeriCup is set for November 29 and 30, with Canada facing Cuba and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The nation only needs a top-three finish to advance to the next round, but the pandemic makes it unlikely that a team will be sent.

“It’s not happening,” one source said.

Canadian officials are hoping the event will be postponed, and a final decision is expected when FIBA holds its general meeting on Friday. If the tournament is played, Canada could opt to forfeit its two games and hope to stay alive with two wins in February. However, a single loss at that event would end any hopes of playing in the 2024 Olympics.

Although Canada hasn’t medaled in basketball since 1936, it can put together a team with plenty of NBA talent. Jamal MurrayShai Gilgeous-AlexanderRJ Barrett, Luguentz DortTristan Thompson and Kelly Olynyk are among the players who could be part of the 2024 roster if Canada qualifies.