Steve Kerr: “This USA team is probably as decorated as any since the 1992 Dream Team”

2024-06-27T18:51:01+00:00 2024-06-27T22:56:40+00:00.

Nikola Miloradovic

27/Jun/24 18:51

USA head coach Steve Kerr talked about Team USA and the challenges it will face this summer at the Paris Olympics

By Eurohoops team /

A star-studded Team USA is set to start preparing for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics at the Las Vegas training camp.

Before the work commences, head coach Steve Kerr talked about the side he has at his disposal for the summer, the highest expectations that lay in front of the US national team, and the challenges they need to overcome.

Our roster is lined with stars and players who have accomplished much but want to achieve more and win the gold medal. We are aware of the challenge; the world of basketball has become better and stronger, and we know we have to be at our best. One of the many challenges we face in FIBA basketnall is the new group, and we have to mold it. With practicing, travel, bonding, flying overseas, and playing in different venues.

Kawhi Leonard is also a part of the team, despite missing big chunks of the season due to injury, along with NBA stars like Steph Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Anthony Davis, Bam Adebayo, Devin Booker, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards, and Jrue Holiday.

They are all expected to show up in Lille for the start of the Olympic tournament.

We expect everybody to be good to go. We have been in touch, and Kawhi’s been working out the last couple of weeks. Every roster spot is important; you just never know how this thing is gonna play out.

How will Kerr make the team with 12 stars work together?

I’m guessing that all of them are Hall of Famers. The idea is to find combinations that click, and two-way lineups, and ask all 12 guys to fully commit to winning the gold medal, no matter who’s playing.”

LeBron and Steph will be playing together for the first time.

LeBron and Steph are excited to play together after going against one another with such high stakes over the years. They fit together, and the idea of Steph playing off the ball and LeBron pushing in transition… They are both so good in so many different areas and are excited to play together for the first time.

Comparison do 1992 Dream Team, clashes with Serbia

Serbian national team head coach Svetislav Pešić recently said that this USA side is better than the 1992 Dream Team.

I think from the standpoint of career achievement, this team is probably as decorated as any since the 1992 Dream Team. The difference is that in 1992, the world wasn’t anywhere close to as good as it is now in terms of basketball popularity and the globalization of the game. Serbia and Croatia had been separated at that time, so prior to that, Yugoslavia would have been the biggest challenge for the 1992 team. All those players were separated, and the Soviet Union was broken apart. That USA team was never threatened, so the difference is that yes, we have a star-studded team filled with Hall of Famers, but we have an altogether different challenge with great teams like Serbia, France, Germany, and Spain, assuming Spain qualifies.

Last summer, a different but still formidable US team finished fourth at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, seeing Germany take the gold in Manila.

Germany has a great team, very well coached, with continuity; they were really tough last year. We are excited and familiar with their players. They’ll be a big challenge and one of the favorites to win the gold medal.”

Team USA will meet Nikola Jokić and Serbia at the Abu Dhabi preparation tournament and at the Olympic tournament group stage.

One of the best teams in the world, and to play them right away is really exciting. We know how good they are, and we are familiar with their players. The biggest thing is us; I’m not worried about playing all our cards right away. Our focus is to use these games to get better and to worry about ourselves, not just our opponents.”

Kerr kept praising the Serbian team.

We saw them last year; coach Pešić did an amazing job. They reached the final without Jokić, and they’ll be even better with Jokić, who is spectacular. We are aware that they will be a huge challenge. They have a lot of continuity, with many players playing together over the years,” USA head coach Steve Kerr concluded.