Fans of Team USA basketball had become used to seeing the familiar face of Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski roaming the sidelines in the Olympics and other international competition.
After Krzyzewski's retirement from coaching the national team, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was chosen to take over Team USA. One of his first choices for his staff was Warriors coach Steve Kerr, and Kerr spoke Tuesday about the privilege of being on Popovich's staff as the team prepares for the FIBA World Cup beginning later this month.
"This is my first time with the national team, coaching with Pop who I've known forever, and who I've played for a long time ago," Kerr said.
Kerr played with the Spurs from 2002-03, as he wrapped up a 16-year NBA career.
"I think the challenge ahead is really intriguing, to play in the world championships in China, to prepare for that over the next month, to take a group of players who we compete against all year and who compete against each other, put them all on one team and try to form a team in a quick, six-week period is a fun challenge."
Kerr is the lone representative for the Warriors in Vegas, as Klay Thompson continues to rehab from his ACL tear and Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and D'Angelo Russell all withdrew from consideration prior to the start of the camp.
"Obviously, we wanna win so we got a lot of work ahead."
Team USA will open pool play at the World Cup Sep. 1 against the Czech Republic.