Gregg Popovich has assembled quite a braintrust for his first two marquee events as coach of the U.S. men’s national team.
USA Basketball announced Thursday that Steve Kerr, Nate McMillan and Jay Wright will serve as assistant coaches for 2019-20, which will include next year’s FIBA World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Popovich is in his first Olympic cycle as the U.S. head coach after taking over for Mike Krzyzewski. The Spurs coach has a longstanding relationship with Kerr, who was a point guard on San Antonio’s NBA championship teams in 1999 and 2003. Kerr has led the Warriors to three NBA titles in his four years as a head coach.
“This is an incredible opportunity and one I’m extremely grateful for,” Kerr said in a release. “I had the good fortune to participate in our USA Basketball program as an amateur, and to have the chance to return to the world stage three decades later and work under Pop, one of my former coaches and a mentor, is a tremendous honor. I also look forward to working with Nate and Jay, two dynamic and highly successful coaches, as we together embrace the opportunity to represent our country and attempt to ultimately bring home the gold.”
McMillan was an assistant under Krzyzewski at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and is entering his third season as Pacers head coach after previous stints leading Portland and Seattle.
“I’m honored and thrilled to be with USA Basketball and the National Team again,” McMillan said. “My previous experience I figured to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and now I’ve been blessed again. I look forward to working with Coach Popovich and a great group of players.”
Wright has led Villanova to two of the last three NCAA titles and is entering his 18th season at the school. He has had a variety of coaching stints with USA Basketball, but has never been on an Olympic staff.
” It is a great honor to represent our country and to represent USA Basketball,” Wright said. “It’s also a privilege to work under Pop and alongside Steve and Nate. I have great respect for all three of them. This will be the opportunity of a lifetime.”