Klay Thompson already foresaw that when The Bahamas made headlines this August for toppling this year’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in the American region, his close connection to them would be brought out.
And on Thursday, Aug. 31, as his name got even more tied with the island country upon the commencement of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the Golden State Warriors star hotshot finally announced it: He’ll seriously contemplate joining the emerging hoops nation once the opportunity presents itself.
“When that time comes, I will give it serious consideration just because of what The Bahamas meant to the Thompson family, especially my father,” Thompson said as he and Kevon Looney landed in the Philippines for the final stop of the ANTA World Tour.
Thompson notably played under the United States flag in the past, helping the Stars and Stripes to clinch global basketball supremacy by winning the gold medal in both the 2014 FIBA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
But considering that it’s been years since he hasn’t played on the international stage for the Americans, it might be the time to finally honor his father’s well wishes.
His father and former NBA No. 1 overall pick, Mychal Thompson, has a proud Bahamian blood. This ultimately makes Thompson an intriguing, probable reinforcement of the Bahamas squad that targets a coveted basketball seat in next year’s Paris Olympics.
“He never had a chance to play for the national team because they just didn’t have the chance back in the ’70s or the ’80s,” Klay said of his father. “Now my brother [Mychel] is coaching with them which is also very cool.
“But right now, I’m really focused on the [upcoming 2023-24 NBA] season. But when that time comes next summer, I’ll give it consideration.”
The Bahamas conquered last week’s Olympic Pre-Qualifiers of the Americas, sweeping the entire contest with might and dominance. Powered by Deandre Ayton, Buddy Hield, and Eric Gordon – whose international play ties with the United States were granted by FIBA – the Bahamians exited the tournament with an unblemished record, pocketing one of the five Olympic Qualifier tickets as they joined Bahrain, Poland, Cameroon, Croatia, and the other 19 yet-to-be-determined nations based on the future results of the ongoing World Cup tourney in Manila, Okinawa, and Jakarta.
Thompson expressed his delight that The Bahamas were able to dismantle hoops powerhouse and FIBA No. 4 nation Argentina en route to the nation’s biggest win thus far in national program history.
“When it comes to the Bahamian basketball, I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve accomplished in the past few weeks especially Chris De Marco, Buddy Hield, Deandre Ayton, Eric Gordon, and the rest of the Bahamians,” said the four-time NBA champion.
“Those guys had the biggest win in our country’s history as far as beating Argentina twice on their home soil. [It’s] not an easy task. Argentina is one of the best teams in the world, and it’s just gonna do wonders for the country.”
His impending decision to potentially cut his ties with the American federation and eventually join The Bahamas would require utmost pondering, considering that Steve Kerr, his current coach in the Warriors, has been calling the shots now for USA Basketball.
Nevertheless, he’s proud of the current progress of Kerr and the youthful squad that is now preparing for the second round of the FIBA Championships’ Group Phase while boasting an unstained 3-0 preliminary round record.
“Steve [Kerr] is doing a great job and the great thing about when you watch Team USA is the guys put their egos aside,” Thompson said. “They don’t care who leads the team in scoring, in rebounding, and steals. All that matters is when you play for Team USA, it’s winning gold [medal].”
“And that’s beautiful to see.”