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Marcus Smart, Kemba Walker named Team USA captains

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The face and heart of the franchise are both now the face and heart of the country.

USA Basketball Mens National Team Practice - Australia Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker have both been named captains along with Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz for the Team USA squad currently representing the country for the FIBA World Cup. Smart and Walker, both teammates next year for the Celtics, have been able to build a strong rapport this summer with fellow teammates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown through their involvement with Team USA.

Three out of the four teammates suited up last night against Australia for an exhibition match before official tournament play begins in September. Team USA is undefeated so far after taking wins against both Spain and Australia.

Smart hasn’t suited up at all for Team USA, leaving his status to make the team beyond exhibition play in doubt. However, after being named a captain (likely for both his play on the court and his leadership off of it), that’s a very strong sign that Smart will stick around as the team seeks a gold medal.

Kemba Walker is an obvious choice for the distinction as the biggest name on the roster and the only star who didn’t drop out. He’s played like it on the court as well, living up to his reputation as the team’s best player. It’s only natural that he be named a captain.

Team USA begins official play on September 1st against Czech Republic, but before then, they still have exhibition matches against Australia and Canada as August closes out. You can catch all the action on NBATV.