Dwight Howard Makes Bizzare Threat If He Doesn't Make The US Olympic Team

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TaiwanBeer HeroBears v Taoyuan Leopards - T1 League
TAIPEI, TAIWAN - FEBRUARY 19: Center Dwight Howard (R) #12 of the Taoyuan Leopards fights for basket during the T1 League game between TaiwanBeer HeroBears and Taoyuan Leopards at University of Taipei Tianmu Gymnasium on February 19, 2023 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images)
Howard doesn't appear to realize that Taiwan isn't going to the Olympics.

Dwight Howard has become the latest player to express interest in representing the United States at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Team USA has won the last four Olympic gold medals but has elsewhere struggled on the international stage. In particular, the national team has come under fire after failing to medal at the recent FIBA World Cup. This has led a bevy of stars such as LeBron, AD, and Steph Curry to express their interest in competing in Paris.

In the late 2000s, Howard was a go-to pick for the national team. He won a gold medal at the Beijing Games in 2008 as well as a World Cup bronze in 2006. However, he is likely on the outside looking in when it comes to 2024. Despite this, Howard is adamant that he be selected. Furthermore, he has gone as far as to say that if he isn't selected, he will play for Taiwan and "drop 85". There's just one problem with this - Taiwan (or Chinese Taipei as it is referred to by the IOC) can't qualify for the Olympics. Taiwan is not one of the 24 remaining teams that will compete for one of the four remaining Olympic spots next July.

Howard Aside, Who Is Still Competing For An Olympic Spot?

As mentioned, there are 24 nations still eligible for an Olympic berth. They will be drawn into four tournaments of six teams and compete at the start of July 2024. The winner of each mini-tournament will get an Olympic berth. Most of the teams still competing come from the FIBA World Cup and include everyone from Puerto Rico and Lebanon to European powerhouses like Spain and Greece.

Beyond these 24 contenders, eight teams have already punched their ticket to the Paris Games. Aside from hosts France, the other seven teams earned their berth in the FIBA World Cup. Aside from the US, Canada, South Sudan, Japan, Germany, Serbia, and Australia have all qualified. That already adds a wealth of NBA and NBA-adjacent talent to the World Cup. Even if the US sends a superteam, this might be their toughest road to the gold medal in some time.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.