Fresh off a record-setting season with the Golden State Warriors that ended with a Game 7 defeat in the NBA Finals, former Washington State guard Klay Thompson has accepted a bid to play for the United States on the 12-man team that will represent Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this...
Fresh off a record-setting season with the Golden State Warriors that ended with a Game 7 defeat in the NBA Finals, former Washington State guard Klay Thompson has accepted a bid to play for the United States on the 12-man team that will represent Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this August.
Thompson, who played at WSU from 2008-11, will be making his Olympic debut this summer. He becomes the first Cougar to represent the United States in men’s basketball at a Summer Olympics. Former WSU star Aron Baynes participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as a member of the Australian men’s basketball team.
Thompson, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound guard, averaged 22.1 points per game for the Warriors this past season, and his 276 3-point field goals were third-best in NBA history.
Thompson, who was named to the All-NBA third team this year, was joined on the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team by two other Golden State teammates — Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes.
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Notably, Thompson’s most well-known Golden State teammate, Steph Curry, will not be in Rio because his withdrew his name from Olympics consideration earlier this month, citing recent injuries as the reason behind his decision to skip the Olympic Games. LeBron James, whose Cleveland Cavaliers trumped the Warriors to win their first NBA title in franchise history, also chose not to play in the Olympics because he wanted to rest his body after a long season.
Here’s a list of the full team that will be competing for the United States in Rio:
- Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks/Syracuse)
- Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors/North Carolina)
- Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls/Marquette); DeMarcus Cousins(Sacramento Kings/Kentucky)
- DeMar DeRozan(Toronto Raptors/USC)
- Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder/Texas)
- Paul George (Indiana Pacers/Fresno State)
- Draymond Green(Golden State Warriors/Michigan State)
- Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers/Duke)
- DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers/Texas A&M)
- Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors/Villanova)
- Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors/Washington State)
“I think I can speak for the entire coaching staff and say we’re extremely excited about the team we will field for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,” Jerry Colangelo, managing director of the USA Men’s National Team, said in a press release Monday morning. “I love our depth, which is another indication of the depth of talent our national team program is blessed with. We’ve got a great mix of talent, scorers, past gold medal winners and outstanding youth.”
Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski will be making his third trip to the Olympics as head coach of the men’s basketball national team.
“Looking at this team, our overall balance is what strikes me. We have lightning-quick guards who can score as well as distribute the basketball. We have great shooters and explosive scorers, we’re big and athletic, and I think we’ll really be able to defend,” Krzyzewski said.
The U.S. men won gold at the London Olympics in 2012, and retain two members of that squad — Durant and Anthony — as they seek to build on their 17-game Olympic win streak that dates back to the 2004 bronze medal game in Athens, Greece.
The national team will train in Las Vegas, Nev. from July 18-21 before they play an international friendly against Argentina at the T-Mobile Arena on July 22 at 6 p.m..
The Americans will play two more exhibition games against China on July 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and July 26 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
The team will continue its exhibition schedule with a July 29 game against Venezuela at the United Center in Chicago and conclude with a game against Nigeria on August 1 in Houston, Texas.