Count Stephen Curry among the potential Team USA players who didn’t participate in the 2019 World Cup but is interested in helping the program recapture gold at the 2020 Olympics. Speaking to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (link via Nick Friedell at ESPN.com), the Warriors‘ star said that he intends to join Team USA in Tokyo next summer, health permitting.
“That is the plan, for sure,” Curry said. “You know, obviously knock on wood, you don’t want any injuries or things like that to interfere. … [I] definitely want to go. 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.”
Besides Curry, a handful of other stars have spoken out in recent days about being part of the USA Basketball roster in 2020. Some, like Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker, were part of this year’s World Cup roster and have expressed interest in representing Team USA again at the Olympics. Others, like Curry and Damian Lillard, passed on participating this year but would like to play next summer.
Of course, before Team USA makes any decisions on its 12-man roster for Tokyo, we’ve got a full NBA season to play. In his conversation with Nichols, Curry offered several thoughts on the upcoming year and looked back at Kevin Durant‘s free agent decision. Here are a few of Curry’s most notable comments, via Friedell:
On Durant’s decision to leave the Warriors for the Nets:
“At the end of the day, we live in an age where choice at the forefront, and K made a decision for himself and you can’t argue that. I wish we could still play with K. He’s an unbelievable talent, unbelievable person. We accomplished a lot together. But things have changed a little bit. So you obviously wish him the best, obviously with his recovery first and foremost and things on and off the court. But we’re gonna have to battle down the road. So this should be a fun, new experience on that front too.”
On potential “load management” during the 2019/20 season:
“I want to be smart about what I’m doing. I doubt there will be any games where I’m playing 48 minutes (laugh). I could, but that’s not part of how you achieve greatness, at the end of the day, for what we’re trying to accomplish, which is a championship. So everything’s going to be in light of trying to get another banner. All the other stuff is — it’ll take care of itself.”
On the possibility of winning his third MVP award this season:
“I always say, I’m playing like I’m the best player on the floor no matter what the situation is. That’s my mentality. It might not mean I’m taking every shot, but that’s the aggressiveness that I need to play with and the confidence I need to have. So, that’ll carry me the rest of my career. And at the end of the day, winning an MVP would be special. And it’s something that I’ve experienced before and would love to experience again. I’d love to push the envelope and push the limits a little bit. [But] you won’t see anything different about how I play this season versus years past.”