Bahamas’ rise as a basketball power in the Americas might get another boost next summer.
“When that time comes, I’ll give it serious consideration just because of what the Bahamas has meant to the Thompson family, especially my father,” Thompson told Manila reporters during his Asian Tour for sportswear brand Anta in the Philippines.
“He never had a chance to play for the national team just because they didn’t. They just didn’t have the chance back in the’ 70s or the ’80s. And now my brother’s coaching with them is also very cool. But right now, I’m really focused on the season. And when that time comes next summer, I’ll give it consideration.”
His older brother, Mychel Thompson, is an assistant coach of the Bahamas national team, led by NBA players Buddy Hield, DeAndre Ayton and Eric Gordon, who twice upset Argentina to win a spot in one of the following summer’s qualifying tournaments for Paris Olympics.
Bahamas head coach is Warriors assistant Chris DeMarco.
“I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve accomplished the past few weeks, especially Chris DeMarco, but also Buddy Hield, DeAndre Ayton, Eric Gordon and the rest of the Bahamians. Those guys had the biggest win in our country’s history as far as beating Argentina twice on their home soil. Not an easy task. Argentina is one of the best teams in the world. And it’s just gonna do wonders for the country,” Thompson said.
Switching FIBA Country Allegiances Won’t Be Easy
Since Thompson had already won two golds in the 2014 FIBA World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics representing the USA, switching allegiances and playing for the Bahamas will be challenging.
The Bahamas can invoke the FIBA eligibility exception, which they did with Gordon, who already won a gold with Team USA in the 2010 FIBA World Cup. But if Thompson gets clearance from USA Basketball and FIBA to play for the Bahamas, the rising basketball power will have to choose between him and Gordon.
A Thompson-Stephen Curry matchup in the Paris Olympics next summer will be a must-see TV if everything goes according to plan.
Klay Thompson Drops in Player Rankings
From as high as the third tier pre-ACL and Achilles injury, Thompson hit rock bottom as he will enter next season in the fifth tier despite producing better numbers last season compared to the previous season before his injury.
Thompson averaged 21.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists while hitting a five-year high 41.2% on a career-high 10.6 3-point attempts last season across 69 games. During his ill-fated 2018-19 season campaign, Thompson put up 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 40.2% on 7.7 3-point attempts in 78 games.
But for Seth Partnow of The Athletic, who did the NBA Player Tiers, the 33-year-old Thompson is now just one of the “stars still finding ways to contribute at a moderately high level later in their careers.”