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Harrison Barnes says Team USA is ‘motivated’ to keep the gold standard going

Harrison-Barnes, Kings, Team USA

Sacramento Kings small forward Harrison Barnes says Team USA is “motivated more than anything to keep the gold standard going.”

Because Team USA doesn’t have any superstars on it like before, a lot of critics believe the team might not bring home the gold once the FIBA World Cup starts.

Barnes, the lone holdover from the Olympic team which won gold back in 2016 at the Summer Olympics in Brazil, says it doesn’t matter what people are saying.

“We hear the noise. It’s just about the 14 guys that we got here right now, and when we go to Australia, it’s about just us, getting better, continuing to grow closer on and off the floor, and we’ll go from there,” Barnes told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “We’re motivated more than anything to keep the gold standard going, by the teams that went before us, that went and won the World Cup, that went and won the Olympics multiple times. That’s what we’re chasing right now.”

Team USA has won gold at the FIBA World Cup two straight times. The roster may lack superstar power, but Team USA still has a great shot at winning the gold since its athleticism and speed will be tough for other countries to keep up with.

After Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox and Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker were the latest to withdraw from the World Cup, the Team USA roster is currently headlined by Harrison Barnes, Jaylen Brown, Joe Harris, Kyle Kuzma, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell, Mason Plumlee, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Myles Turner, Kemba Walker and Derrick White.