Harrison Barnes never wavered in committing to Team USA
While a slew of players have dropped out of contention for USA Basketball’s quest for the gold at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes has never doubted his commitment to Team USA.
“For me, I make the commitment anytime USA Basketball asks,” Barnes told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “As long as my family is good and I am healthy, I will be out here playing as long as they give me the opportunity. … Everyone is different. Some guys are coming off injury. Some guys had commitments. For me, I try to take advantage of it every time I can to play for my country. To be able to suit up with these guys, that has been fun.”
The Kings forward is fresh off signing a four-year, $85 million deal with the franchise after opting out of the last year of his deal, but he is also the only player remaining from a gold-medal-winning Team USA at the Rio Olympics in 2016, now that veteran point man Kyle Lowry was forced to drop out with a thumb injury that hasn’t healed in time.
The 27-year-old is among the oldest players in a very young roster, and the only one with Olympic or international experience at the senior level, which makes him a likely lock to make the team.
Despite the unfortunate nature of all the dropouts from this process, Barnes’ international experience will be invaluable for this young roster that hopes to navigate some tough competition in China.