Following their 4th place finish in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, its second consecutive non-podium finish at the tourney, the United States is planning a redemption tour at the 2024 Paris Olympics, led by Lebron James.
James is reportedly leading the recruitment of fellow future Hall of Famers Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum, and Draymond Green. Meanwhile, Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox, and Kyrie Irving have also expressed interest per league sources.
While an official roster has yet to be finalized, the Internet has already dubbed the group “Redeem Team 2.0”, named after the original 2008 roster that featured James, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony.
The first “Redeem Team” avenged bronze-medal finishes at the 2004 Summer Olympics and the 2006 FIBA World Championships. The 2024 iteration will be formed following Team USA’s defeat at the hands of Germany, Serbia, and Canada, who won gold, silver, and bronze medals respectively.
But while Team USA has found little success in FIBA in recent years, the program has won four consecutive gold medals in the Olympics, most recently at Tokyo in 2020, led by tournament MVP Kevin Durant. The Olympic team has been historically more stacked talent-wise, and “Redeem Team 2.0” looks to be no exception.
Lebron James, Getty Images
Regardless of who’s in or out next year, a glaring concern for the program is size. The FIBA squad was consistently outmatched in rebounding, and the NBA’s top big men are international players; Nikola Jokic (Serbia), Rudy Gobert, and Victor Wembenyama (France) are examples. Add in Joel Embiid, who is also eligible for the French national team, and the size mismatch becomes bigger.
In the words of Team USA coach Steve Kerr, “This is not 1992 anymore.” The game is more popular and global than ever, which means the upcoming Games promises to be more competitive – and fun.