Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports that Steve Kerr does not intend to continue coaching Team USA beyond the 2024 Olympics. Like Gregg Popovich, Kerr plans to lead the American team to victory in both the World Cup and the Olympics before handing the reins over to a successor.
“To me, it’s a two-year; it’s a cycle,” Kerr said. “Pop coached a World Cup and the 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-around with Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) and Jerry (Colangelo), when 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.”
In 2019, Kerr, who competed for the gold-medal winning American squad in the 1986 global championships, joined Popovich’s coaching staff and supported him while the United States placed eighth in the global Cup. He stayed with the team in 2021, the year when Team USA won gold for the fourth time in a row.
The Americans lost three of their final four games to finish in fourth place at this year’s World Cup, under Kerr’s leadership. Despite the underwhelming performance, the United States was qualified for the Olympics the following year.
Vardon points out that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue, and Gonzaga coach Mark Few are among the prospects to succeed Kerr who are currently employed by Team USA. The 2027 World Cup will take place in Qatar, while in 2028, Los Angeles will host the Olympics.
Well-known athletes including Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant have already stated that they would like to play for the United States in the 2024 Olympics. Kerr informed Vardon that while he and Curry are both concentrated on the Warriors’ season, they haven’t yet had a “in-depth conversation” regarding the potential.
Vardon continues, “The 12-man roster for next summer is still being chosen.” Although Kerr acknowledges that USA Basketball cannot pass up players with the caliber of James, Durant, and Curry, the sheer volume of talent on the roster will inevitably force tough choices. Other All-Stars who have indicated interest in joining the club include Draymond Green, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, and Kyrie Irving, according to Vardon.
According to Kerr, representatives of USA Basketball will start going over their possibilities “over the next couple of months.” Although there isn’t a deadline for forming a preliminary roster, players should expect to hear from the coaches quickly if they are being considered.
“You want everybody excited about the prospect (of playing for Team USA); that’s the first sign of, hey, we’re taking this really seriously. A lot of guys are dying to play. Obviously, (USAB managing director Grant Hill) has to lead the way in terms of building our strategy, and we haven’t made any decisions,” Kerr said. “It’s highly likely that guys who want to play may not be … whether it’s established guys or guys who have been with us and guys who just played and played really well this last go-around, no matter how you slice it, you can only take 12, so it’s very, very difficult, and it’s a painful process because, you know, you get really attached to guys.”