Golden State Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr has also been coaching the USA men’s national basketball team for several years now. Kerr served as an assistant under San Antonio Spurs’ guru Gregg Popovich at the 2019 World Cup in China and at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics before being named to the head coaching position for 2022-24.
Team USA finished seventh under Popovich and Kerr in China, but the legendary coaching duo bounced back, helping the national team to bring home gold from Tokyo. This marked the fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal for the U.S. men’s national team.
Then Team USA had its own Thrilla in Manila at the 2023 FIBA World Cup in the bronze-medal game vs. Canada, but unfortunately Mikal Bridges’ magical late-game theatrics were not enough. Canada ultimately ousted the United States 127-118 in overtime, and Team USA failed to medal for the second straight FIBA tournament.
Of course, the United States will be seeking satisfaction and some retribution in Paris. Kerr and several veteran ballers have already expressed interest in forming a sort of super team, in what would be a “last dance” for many of them. Turning up the emotional dial a few ticks himself, Kerr recently told Joe Vardon of the Athletic that he plans to bow out as Team USA’s head coach following the conclusion of the 2024 Summer Olympics.
“To me, it’s a two-year…it’s a cycle,” Kerr stated to Vardon. “Pop coached a World Cup and an Olympics, now it’s my turn to pass the baton. I think that’s kind of how it should be. Frankly, it’s a huge commitment, too. I guess I think it was different the last go-round with Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) and Jerry (Colangelo), where they were really establishing this culture and this system where guys had to commit for a couple years. Made sense for Coach K to stay on. But I think where we are now, one cycle and you move on.”
Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant have already thrown their hats in the ring for what will very likely be a Last Tango in Paris for them as well. Other notable NBA superstars who have already made their interest in suiting up for Team USA public are Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid, and Devin Booker. All of these elite players have played for the U.S. national team in some capacity except for Embiid. However, Embiid is showing extreme patriotism and courage by choosing Team USA over both France and Cameroon.
With a rock-solid foundation consisting of Curry, James, Durant, Tatum, Booker, and Embiid, Coach Kerr will presumably be having some fun in the Paris games next summer. Kerr is hoping to duplicate Popovich’s feat of winning a gold medal at the Olympics after not medaling at the previous FIBA tournament.
The former sharpshooter has an impressive resume to this point, to say the least. Kerr won five NBA titles as a player: three with the Chicago Bulls under the original coaching guru, Phil Jackson, and two with the San Antonio Spurs, under the guru-incumbent, Popovich. As a coach, Kerr has earned four championship rings, all with the Warriors.
Kerr is also the proud owner of two gold medals, having won as a player on the 1986 World Cup team and as a coach in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. It’s rather symbolic to see Kerr “going for three”, as he takes his best shot at the rest of the world, preparing to go out on top as he makes a dramatic exit from the Olympic stage.