Warriors' Klay Thompson Says He Plans to Play for Team USA in 2020 Olympics

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2019

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2014, file photo, United States' Stephen Curry, left, and Klay Thompson celebrate after wining the final World Basketball match against Serbia at the Palacio de los Deportes stadium in Madrid, Spain. Curry has withdrawn from consideration from the Olympics, leaving the U.S. basketball team without the NBA's MVP. Curry says Monday, June 6, 2016, in a statement that he has decided to pull out for
Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

Team USA will not be lacking starpower at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

With Draymond Green and Stephen Curry having already expressed their interest in representing their country next summer, Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson has made his intentions known as well.

"I would love to play (for) Team USA," Thompson told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson III. "That is the plan. I would love to be on the Olympic team."

Thompson has previously worn the red, white and blue at the 2014 FIBA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, taking home gold at both tournaments. 

For Thompson, the opportunity to play alongside Curry at the Olympics is something he wants to do. The two have shared a backcourt in the Bay Area for eight years, making it to five consecutive NBA Finals and winning three championships. The two were members of the 2014 World Cup squad, though Curry missed the 2016 Olympics due to injury.

"That would be amazing," the five-time All-Star said of the possibility of playing with Curry at the Olympics, per Thompson. "Amazing. Because even when we played in the World Championships together, we were barely on the floor together."

Thompson, though, is currently working his way back from a torn ACL, which he suffered in June. He does not expect to be back on the court with Golden State prior to the 2020 All-Star break in February.

The Golden State trio are not the only ones to commit to Team USA in 2020 so far. Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard also wants in.

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All of this should help coach Gregg Popovich breathe a sigh of relief after what the program went through this year. As noted by ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the United States had 31 of the 35 players initially on its roster pull out from World Cup consideration. Lillard, James Harden and Zion Williamson were among the stars to withdraw.

Team USA subsequently had its 78-game international win streak, which dated back to 2006, snapped during a pre-tournament exhibition against Australia. The U.S. then had its worst showing ever at a major tournament, finishing seventh at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.

"It was hard to watch us lose," Thompson acknowledged to The Athletic. "Those guys, they sacrificed their summers for that. I'm not going to dog them for losing, though. The world is good."

Now, though, Thompson should have a chance to help the United States return to glory.

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