What is the USA basketball roster for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games?
The roster that will represent the United States in the Olympic Games was released some weeks ago. Will the 12 chosen players win the gold medal?
Team USA basketball announced its complete 12-man roster for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, led by now three-time Olympian Kevin Durant, along with Damian Lillard and Devin Booker. Bradley Beal was supposed to join the roster but was pulled after he entered coronavirus protocols at training on Wednesday.
With the NBA season being shortened and stretching into the middle of July, it won’t give players much time between the end of the season and the start of the Olympics.
The competition is on 23 July running through 8 August, so it will be tight for those players who are still competing in the NBA Finals between the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks. Booker (Suns) is one of them, while Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton (Bucks) are the other two players who are still unavailable for Team USA.
As a result of the agenda that has left the coronavirus pandemic and the injuries that some important players have suffered during the season, there won’t be many top players featuring in the Olympics this time around.
Team USA is 138-5 in men’s basketball in the Olympics. The last time they didn’t win gold at the summer games was back in 2004 with a young LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. Since then, Team USA has won three straight gold medals, having won 24 straight games.
The 12 selected players
Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers
Draymond Green, F/C, Golden State Warriors
Jayson Tatum, F, Boston Celtics
Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards (pulled due to covid-19 protocols)
Devin Booker, G, Phoenix Suns
Kevin Durant, F, Brooklyn Nets
Bam Adebayo, C, Miami Heat
Khris Middleton, G/F, Milwaukee Bucks
Kevin Love, F/C, Cleveland Cavaliers (out due to calf injury)
Jrue Holiday, G, Milwaukee Bucks
Zach LaVine, G, Chicago Bulls
Jerami Grant, F, Detroit Pistons
A bad start for Team USA
All eyes were on the USA players before the exhibition games leading up to the Tokyo Games. US and foreign fans wanted to see how the new roster would perform against opponents they will likely face in the tournament.
However, most or all fans, who probably expected an American win in the first game against Nigeria, were shocked, as the African team managed to beat the heavy favorites 90-87.
But if that was not surprising enough, Gregg Popovich’s men also failed to win their second exhibition game against Australia (91-83), regarded as one of the rosters of the basketball tournament in the Olympics together with Spain, France and Slovenia that could pull off the upset.