Coming off the disappointment of the United States at this summer’s FIBA World Cup, the stars of the NBA have been reported to be committed to bringing the Olympic gold back to the birthplace of basketball; one of them being Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum.
In a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania on the morning of September 11, Boston’s No. 0 is among several star names including LeBron James and Kevin Durant that are “ready to commit” to the 2024 Olympic team. Tatum was a member of the National Team back in 2021 for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The former Duke forward was one of two players on the team that averaged over 15 points per game en route to a gold medal for the red, white, and blue. His length and positional versatility given the way international basketball is being played these days was sorely missed this summer. Steve Kerr’s “small-ball” style of play did not stand the test against teams like Lithuania.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant donned the No. 10 for the national team. So has Tatum so far representing his country. Coincidence? Probably not.
At the start of his professional career, the now First Team All-NBA player had the luxury of picking the mind of the five-time NBA champion. Though he has since passed, that fire Bryant provided Boston’s star still remains. It may not be final, but if he does choose to accept a spot on the team, the Boston Celtics’ No. 0 has the potential to complete a mission his teacher could not even finish this young.
Boston Celtics’ forward Jayson Tatum could become the fourth USA men’s basketball player with two Olympic Golds before turning 27
Bob Kurland, Bill Hougland, and Burdette Haldorson all had two Gold Medals for basketball at the age of 26. Durant, one of two American men with three Gold Medals in basketball reached two at 28. James needed just one less year compared to Durant to achieve that mark.
This is not to say that the United States by any means is going to win the Olympics’ top men’s basketball prize next summer with all these superstars. There are going to have to be a lot of hoops to jump through. The game is global, and this summer was a testament to that. At 25 right now, the Boston Celtics superstar could attain something nobody for over 60 years has been able to do in his sport.
Since 2000, only eight U.S.A. players have secured two or more first-place honors in the Olympic Games. With this still pending a decision, Tatum would become the first American player since 1960 to have possession of at least two Olympic Gold Medals in men’s basketball at 26 years old.
The face of the Boston Celtics franchise may want to do something like this before the campaign. In the end, it is a completely different story. A lot can happen between now and then.
With that aside, it is quite clear the road ahead is promising. While many fans around the league want people to stop talking about how young Tatum is, it is the reality. What he is doing at this point in his career is truly unprecedented. Presuming that he does don his country’s colors in Paris, the former No. 3 overall pick is only going to add more viability to that statement.
The 2024 Paris Olympics begin on July 26, 2024, and end on August 11, 2024 with this being the third time France has hosted the Summer Games.