NBA

Stephen Curry: Playing in 2020 Tokyo Olympics 'is the plan, for sure'

By Sports Desk September 18, 2019

Stephen Curry plans to make his Olympics debut for the United States in Tokyo next year.

The Golden State Warriors star revealed he had designs on the 2020 Games, which is good news for the USA after the nation's seventh-placed finish at the recent FIBA World Cup. 

"That is the plan, for sure," Curry said in an interview with ESPN. "You know, obviously knock on wood, you don't want any injuries or things like that to interfere."

Curry played for Team USA in the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cup tournaments, winning the title both times, but this would be his first Olympics appearance.

"[I] definitely want to go," said Curry. "I've never been on the Olympic team. I've been on two World Cup championship gold-medal teams. But the Olympics is the experience that I want. And next year will hopefully be it."

While Curry is the first NBA star to commit to the squad, Warriors team-mate Draymond Green told CNBC last week that he also hopes to play. Meanwhile, LeBron James told The Athletic in April that playing for Team USA in 2020 could happen.

A USA squad shorn of their best talents due to a plethora of withdrawals produced their worst showing at a World Cup.

Curry, though, is understandably confident USA can reassert their dominance at the Olympics if their big names do decide to play.

"We're still the best," said the 31-year-old. "If we get the guys that are supposed to be there, in terms of, you know, representing us on the Olympic stage and the commitment's been there, and I think it'll be there next year."

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    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated the switch to Hokkaido, the northern-most prefecture of Japan, could see participants competing in conditions five to six degrees centigrade cooler.

    In a statement, the IOC said the plans are an attempt to "mitigate the effects of the temperatures which may occur next summer".

    IAAF president Sebastian Coe said: "We have been working closely with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 on the potential weather conditions at next year's Olympic Games and will continue to work with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 on the proposal to move the road events to Sapporo. 

    "Giving athletes the best platform for their performances within the environment they are in is central to all major events, and we will work with the organisers to create the very best marathon and race walk courses for next year's Olympic Games."

    IOC chief Thomas Bach added: "Athletes' health and well-being are always at the heart of our concerns. 

    "A range of measures to protect the athletes have already been announced. The new far-reaching proposals to move the marathon and race walking events show how seriously we take such concerns. 

    "The Olympic Games are the platform where athletes can give 'once-in-a-lifetime' performances, and these measures ensure they have the conditions to give their best. I would like to thank World Athletics, and we look forward to working with them on the implementation."

    The decision comes in the wake of the criticism organisers faced at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

    Marathon races were held in the early hours of the morning to try to alleviate the extreme heat of the day in Qatar, but several athletes collapsed and nearly half the field failed to finish in the women's marathon race.

    It marks a further measure taken by Tokyo 2020, with athletics races of 5000 metres and longer scheduled to take place in the evening and all morning rugby matches to be completed before 12pm local time among other steps taken.

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    USA produced a merciless performance to open their Nations League campaign with a 7-0 rout of Cuba last week, inspired by Weston McKennie's 13-minute hat-trick.

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    In a half lacking rhythm, Canada should have taken the lead in the 16th minute but teenager Jonathan David wasted two big chances.

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    Canada finally got their goal in the 63rd minute and it was fully deserved as Davies bundled the ball over the line after USA twice failed to clear the danger.

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    What does it mean? Canada preserve perfect record

    Canada created distance between themselves and USA after making it three wins from three games in Group A. Canada are yet to concede a goal, while USA are six points adrift having played a match less in the race for the semi-finals.

    Pulisic's struggles continue

    It was another disappointing outing for Pulisic, who was hauled off approaching the hour mark. Already struggling for game time at Chelsea following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund, the USA star cut a dejected figure after being substituted on the back of an uninspiring display.

    Canada showcase potential

    Much has been made about Canada with Davies and David ushering in a new era of hope for the country. And based on Tuesday's display, the future is bright for Canada, who never gave USA a sniff.

    What's next?

    USA and Canada will be back in action for next month's rematch in Orlando, Florida on November 15.

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