Warriors at Team USA Training Camp

by Brian Witt

Outside of winning an NBA Championship or MVP perhaps, there are very few achievements held in higher regard by NBA players than a chance to don the colors of the national team in international competition. As by far the most prominent country in the world in the sport of basketball, there’s an extra mystique around being selected for Team USA, in particular. The competition is tougher than anywhere else. And if you’re both lucky and deserving enough to make it through to the final roster, you get the chance to play with perhaps one of the greatest teams ever assembled in the history of the sport.

Thus is the opportunity presented to the 19 members of the Team USA roster currently going through training camp in Las Vegas, including the Warriors’ very own Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Through this week’s training camp, all players will have the chance to prove themselves worthy of making the final cut. Twelve players from the current national team pool will be selected to represent Team USA at the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain (Aug. 30 – Sept. 14).

Warriors Converge at USA Basketball Camp

The Warriors are well represented at USA Basketball Training Camp in Las Vegas in preparation for the coming FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Warriors at Team USA Training Camp

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Warriors Converge at USA Basketball Camp

The Warriors are well represented at USA Basketball Training Camp in Las Vegas in preparation for the coming FIBA World Cup in Spain.
Jul 29, 2014  |  01:35

Warriors at USA Basketball Training Camp

Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are taking part in the USA Basketball Training Camp in Las Vegas.
Jul 28, 2014  |  01:24

Of the current training roster, there figures to be roughly six “locks” to make the team, due to both positional need, and past experience with the USA national team. That list includes the likes of Derrick Rose, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Anthony Davis, and of course, Stephen Curry. Assuming no injuries or unforeseen dropouts, that would leave another six open spots on the final roster for the remaining 13 candidates. International play is a slightly different kind of game than that of what we’re used to seeing in the NBA, which places a greater emphasis on spacing and shooting, and less ball-dominant post-play. That would seem to work in favor of Klay Thompson’s chances of making the team, as his sweet stroke from the outside is ideally suited to capitalizing off the penetration created by Team USA’s impressive arsenal of driving guards, not to mention his defensive versatility. Still, he’ll need to be consistently productive in training camp in order to separate himself from the pack of other wing players, which includes the likes of Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan, and others.


Training camp isn’t just about the here and now, however. Going back to 2007, USA Basketball has used the formation of a Select Team to get some of the game’s brightest and most promising young players experience at the USA National Team level, and get them into the pipeline. This is critical for maintaining dominance over long periods of international competition, as this strategy ensures that the cupboards will never be bare, even in a year when most superstars decline to participate. Klay Thompson, for instance, was a member of the USA Select Team in 2012, which both raised Thompson’s game, and kept him in the inner circle of players likely to return for future National Team assemblies. Golden State continues the tradition of sending players to the Select Team this year, with both Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green handpicked as one of the 12 young standouts that comprise it. This will undoubtedly provide great experience for the two of them, as they will go head-to-head with other members of the Select Team, as well as the National Team, throughout the duration of training camp. That competition will come to a climax at the USA Basketball Showcase, a USA Blue vs. USA White exhibition that closes out training camp on Friday, August 1.

Regardless of who ends up making the final squad, if you’re there competing, it’s for a reason. The National Team has obviously seen a lot to like in all of the participants, and the fact that four Warriors are taking place should not only be an encouraging sign for all of #DubNation, but also give them extra reason to watch Team USA as they compete in the 2014 World Cup and beyond.