Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware that Team USA is poised to cruise through the London Olympics and take home basketball gold. And if you’re a Warrior fan, you’re also well aware that there aren’t any Golden State Warriors among our Olympic hopefuls.
It’s been a long time since the original Dream Team trampled the world in 1992. That was the last time a Warrior had the chance to win a gold medal, and Chris Mullin was lucky enough to be a part of history in Barcelona. Since then, no Warrior has even sniffed the Olympic team. But a couple of current Golden State guards have the best shot at representing the US in its quest for Olympic gold…someday.
Stephen Curry was part of Team USA during the 2010 World Championships in Turkey, but his recent string of injuries cost him an invite to both the USA Select Team and the big brother of that squad, Team USA.
If Curry returns to full health and continues to improve, he’s got a shot to be a part of Team USA for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. In all likelihood, some of Team USA’s backcourt won’t be around in four years. Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade will give way to younger players, and it’s possible Derrick Rose (who’s out for these Games with an injury) may never be the same, which could cost him his spot.
Of course, there are plenty of other young, talented guards who could make it difficult for Curry to make his first Olympic team—like current members Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook, not to mention up-and-comers Kyrie Irving and John Wall—but Curry’s experience and a little good luck with his health could land him a spot with Team USA.
Klay Thompson, a member of this year’s USA Select team, may have an even better shot at eventual Olympic gold than Curry does. Thompson is younger, hasn’t had any significant health problems, is just as good a shooter as Curry and has the length that is so valuable in international play.
If Thompson’s performance in practice against Team USA is any indication, he’s got the ability to someday make the big club. He earned rave reviews from many members of the Olympic team.
So, there won’t be any gold medals in the immediate future for the Warriors. But in Curry and Thompson, there’s certainly hope that Golden State will someday be represented on the world’s biggest basketball stage.