Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook have both expressed interest in playing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
We could see both stars from the Houston Rockets’ back court play together on the USA Basketball Men’s Team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. According to Tim Reynolds, James Harden and Russell Westbrook showed a desire to go for gold next summer.
James Harden and Russell Westbrook both reiterate their interest in playing for the USA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"It would be an honor," Harden said.
"I would love to," Westbrook said.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 8, 2019
Russell Westbrook played on the 2010 team that won the FIBA World Cup Championship. Both Harden and Westbrook played on the 2012 Summer Olympics team that won gold in London and featured players such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. Harden played for USA in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, as USA once again took home the trophy.
The US won gold again in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but neither Harden or Westbrook competed that summer.
In the summer of 2019, the US took a step back in the FIBA World Cup. The US, seeking to become the first country to win three consecutive gold medals in the tournament, finished in just seventh place.
The NBA had perhaps its wildest offseason ever, as multiple All-NBA players changed teams and dynasties were torn apart. As a result, many of the best players in the world elected to sit out of the summer games this time around.
The US’s FIBA team featured just two All-Stars in Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton, and most of the roster was filled with players who were the third or fourth options on their respective NBA teams last year.
It’ll be great if Harden and Westbrook decide to follow through and play for Team USA in 2020. Last month, Stephen Curry told ESPN he plans to play in the 2020 Olympics. Anthony Davis says he wants to play for USA in Tokyo, too. Damian Lillard also made it clear that he plans to join the squad in the fight for gold.
It’s a common saying that the NBA is a copycat league, and once players like Harden and Curry commit to playing, many of the other stars in the league will follow. It looks like the US will be the favorites to take home the gold next summer.