The new big three is taking over the Valley for the Phoenix Suns, and they appear ready to take over the entire world too. Coming off a medal-less performance in this summer’s FIBA World Cup, the three should come as a welcome sight for Team USA.
Bright Side readers shouldn’t be surprised that the face of the franchise, Devin Booker, is game for it. I talked about that — and what it could look like for Team USA to have their A-Team — when Booker tweeted three words about three weeks ago: “I’ll do it.”
Booker reiterated those three words and nothing more on the matter on Monday at Media Day when he earned first billing among players.
It would be Booker’s second tour with Team USA, winning gold in the Tokyo Olympics just days after losing in the Finals. It was there where he connected on a deeper level with Kevin Durant, who hit the podium second.
Nearly 100 points ahead of Carmelo Anthony for second-place, Durant holds the all-time lead for USA Basketball scoring with 435. There was a good chance that 435 mark would stick as his USA future was uncertain at the time. He left nothing uncertain on Monday, giving the wordiest response of the three:
“I will play in the Olympics next year.”
The third and newest member of the big 3, Bradley Beal, is also the only one without any senior national team experience, though he has won gold twice with the junior team; U16 Americas Championship in 2009 and U17 World Cup in 2010. Beal was, however, in line to join Booker and Durant in Tokyo, but he tested positive for COVID after some exhibitions and was ruled out for the tournament.
Now, the dynamic guard is chomping at the bit for another chance: “Yessir. 100%.”
Paris was a popular topic around the league as many teams had their media day, though none were as headstrong in their intentions as the Suns were. LeBron James even said he “wouldn’t have to do much” which is a little uninspiring from a likely would-be captain.
Steph Curry says, “If all things stay the same, I want to be playing.” Kawhi Leonard said he wanted to play for the World Cup squad this summer, but had other obligations that would’ve forced him to leave early, finally getting to a “We’ll see what happens.” Anthony Davis, who would likely be USA’s best option at center, said “If they ask me, I’m in.”
As for the depth USA could have, Tokyo alum Zach LaVine said “you can’t turn down opportunities like that,” reigning NBA champ Aaron Gordon — who might make a perfect role player for FIBA ball — said “If I have the opportunity... that would be amazing.” De’Aaron Fox added that he’s not thinking about USA Basketball right now “at this very moment” but that could change after the NBA season.
Obviously, a lot can happen over the next nine months to take any number of these interested parties out of consideration, but it’s nice to see a Phoenix takeover in Paris brewing, especially if Mikal Bridges is able to make it onto that squad as well, following his near-team-best performance at the World Cup.
Those who know me know I love FIBA ball and love covering FIBA ball, so if there are Suns involved, I’ll be on the case.