There is reportedly one benefit to Team USA finishing a disappointing fourth place at the FIBA World Cup on Sunday in that it’s spurred Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James to recruit his fellow NBA superstars to participate in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
According to Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic, James has “so strong an interest” in playing in the Olympics that he is ready to commit for next summer and has already called “multiple stars” to recruit them to join him in Paris.
James has spoken to Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum and Draymond Green as far as names ready to commit to the redemption project.
League sources told The Athletic that Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox and Dallas’ Kyrie Irving also “have serious interest in committing.”
Also of note, James’ effort apparently started before Team USA flamed out at the World Cup as the program has won four consecutive gold medals at the Olympics.
James has not played for Team USA since 2012 during the Olympic Games in London. Curry, for his part, will be 36 years old and reportedly has interest in the Games as he’s never participated in the Olympics.
The NBA world was quick to react:
Well, if there’s one positive to come from the debacle at the FIBA World Cup…
Not shocked, though. LeBron loves playing in the Olympics, so does Durant. Would be James’ third, and Durant’s fourth.
Meanwhile, Steph Curry has never played oddly enough, and Kerr is coach. https://t.co/LH9emEzgq6
— Jeff D. Lowe (@JeffDLowe) September 11, 2023
Lebron considers the Olympics a networking event where he can convince fellow stars to team up with him when his Lakers deal is done. Savvy move. https://t.co/v0h8B5GpjO
— evanem (@evanempdx) September 11, 2023
— The Anonymous Nobody (@el_budget) September 11, 2023
Woah. Didn’t expect LeBron or Curry to be up for this given their ages.
Guess a lot of guys want to summer in Paris. https://t.co/0ifCUe3LX4
— Jonathan Macri (@JCMacriNBA) September 11, 2023
— Sham (@shamshammgod) September 11, 2023