Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris Among Finalists for 2020 Olympics Roster
Durant and Irving won gold together in 2016; Harris competed for Popovich at 2019 World Cup
Three Brooklyn Nets players are among the 44 finalists announced for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Men’s Team roster that will compete in the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo beginning July 24.
Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Joe Harris are on the list announced by USA Basketball on Monday, with 12 players to make the final roster for the Olympics. The Nets are one of seven NBA teams with three or more players on the list.
Durant is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, in London in 2012 and Brazil in 2016, with Team USA going undefeated in both competitions. He has 44 games of international experience with the national team, third among the 44 finalists. The nine-time All-NBA selection has been sidelined for the entirety of the 2019-20 NBA season after suffering an Achilles’ injury in last season’s NBA Finals. He has twice been named USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year.
In each of his Olympic appearances, Durant led Team USA in scoring. In 2012, he averaged 19.5 points and shot 52.3 percent from 3-point range. In 2016, he averaged 19.4 points while shooting 57.0 percent overall and 58.0 percent from 3-point range.
Irving led Team USA with 4.9 assists in the 2016 Olympics and averaged 11.4 points per game. In addition, he was named MVP for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. He has 33 games of international experience, seventh among the 44 finalists.
Harris made his national team debut last fall. Initially invited to Team USA’s training camp as part of the Select Team to compete against the national team — along with Brooklyn teammate Jarrett Allen — Harris was quickly elevated to the national team roster in advance of the 2020 World Cup. He eventually made the final roster and started six of Team USA’s eight games at the World Cup, shooting 51.1 percent overall and 50. 0 percent from 3-point range.
“The experience was amazing and I think just from an individual development standpoint, it’s hard not to improve in that environment when you’re around such good coaching and competing against such good players,” said Harris last fall. “Whether you’re going against your teammates in practices where we were having very competitive practices, you’re improving there, and then when you play against some of these teams they’re some of the best international players in the world it really is sort of an iron sharpening iron situation where you can’t help but get better competing against high level competition.”
The 2020 Olympics will be the first in which San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich coaches the National Team. Golden State’s Steve Kerr, Atlanta’s Lloyd Pierce and Villanova’s Jay Wright will be the assistants. Popovich led last fall’s World Cup squad as well.
“He’s obviously one of the greatest basketball coaches of all-time,” said Harris. “And then just to have that experience, get to know him on a personal level, he’s a great guy, you can see why everyone loves playing for him. A lot of great team dinners, a lot of great memories. It’s truly sort of an unforgettable experience to play for him.”
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