The path of the US men’s basketball team to the 2021 Olympics has been bumpy.
Team USA sounded the alarm with losses to Nigeria and Australia in their first two exhibition games. Head coach Gregg Popovich later found out that Bradley Beal (health and safety protocols) and Kevin Love (injury recovery) were forced to retire, and now Zach LaVine’s status is up in the air. Team USA boarded their flight to Tokyo on Monday with just eight players.
Zach LaVine has been placed under USA Basketball health and safety protocols and will not be traveling with the team to Tokyo today.
We hope that Zach can join the team in Tokyo later this week.
– USA Basketball (@Usabasketball) July 19, 2021
However, reinforcements could be on the way. Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton have committed to playing in this year’s Olympics after the conclusion of the 2021 NBA Finals. The big question is how quickly they can get past the end of the 2020-21 season. from the NBA to international competition.
Here are the latest updates on when the Suns and Bucks stars will be heading to Tokyo.
When will Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton join Team USA?
Travel plans for Booker, Holiday and Middleton will depend on how quickly the NBA Finals end. A possible Game 7 would be played on Thursday, July 22, and Team USA’s first Olympic match against France is scheduled for Sunday, July 25.
COVID-19 protocols at the Olympics present another hurdle.
According to the IOC Playbook distributed to Olympians, athletes can skip the standard three-day quarantine period when arriving in Tokyo for “Games-related activities,” provided they have tested negative for COVID-19. Athletes must take two COVID-19 tests within 96 hours of leaving for Japan, plus an additional rapid test when they arrive. They are tested daily once inside the Olympic Village.
Assuming Booker, Holiday and Middleton clear those steps without incident, they would be available to play France on Sunday.
When asked about that quick turnaround earlier this month, Booker told reporters that he would take the first available flight to Tokyo should the series go a long way.
“The next thing is smoking. I’ll be there,” Booker said. “I’ll be there. But obviously it’s not my main focus right now. I approached the coach [Popovich], I approached [USA Basketball managing director Jerry] Colangelo recently and then I told them that I saw all the guys report to Las Vegas, and any other place I’d rather be is the Finals, but I’d love to be there with the guys and I’ll be there soon. “
All three players have ignored concerns about additional withdrawals. Both Holiday and Middleton said Monday that they would have continued to play and exercise during the offseason even if they hadn’t been invited to join Team USA, so it makes sense to go straight into the Olympics.
“It wasn’t that difficult,” Middleton said of his commitment to Team USA. “Just being an Olympian, representing our country and having the opportunity to play for a gold medal with a great team. That was it.”
U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball roster
Keldon Johnson and JaVale McGee filled the positions previously held by Beal and Love. LaVine has yet to be replaced because the USA team is hopeful that he will eventually be able to travel to Tokyo.
|Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat|
|Devin Booker||Phoenix suns|
|Kevin Durant||Brooklyn networks|
|Jerami Scholarship||Detroit Pistons|
|Draymond Green||warriors of the golden state|
|Jrue vacation||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Keldon Johnson *||San antonio spurs|
|Zach LaVine||Chicago Bulls|
|Damian Lillard||Portland Trail Blazers|
|JaVale McGee *||Denver nuggets|
|Khris middleton||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Jayson tatum||Boston Celts|
U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Coaching Staff
|Gregg popovich||San antonio spurs|
|Steve Kerr||warriors of the golden state|
|Lloyd Pierce||Indiana Pacers|
|Jay wright||Villanova University|
United States Men’s Basketball Tokyo Olympics Schedule
|July 25||United States vs. France||8 am|
|28 of July||United States against Iran||12:40 pm|
|July 31st||United States vs. TBD||8 am|
|August 3rd||Quarter finals||TBD|
|6th August||Gold medal game||TBD|
|August 7th||Bronze medal game||TBD|
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.