(East Los Angeles, CA) July 16, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: USA Basketball, (USAB), the official governing body of U.S. basketball, based in Colorado Springs, CO, has made the selection of our U.S.A. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team. The 2021 Men’s National Team, (MNT) made up of highly visible and notable NBA rostered players, is seeking a record-breaking fourth consecutive Olympic title. Here is the list of the twelve NBA players who will be representing our country in the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games, beginning Friday, July 23rd.
The most senior and veteran player is three-time Olympian, Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets). Joining him as a two-time Olympian is Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors). And, in a twist of bad fate, originally selected member, Kevin Love (UCLA-Cleveland Cavaliers), unfortunately had to withdraw today due to his ongoing calf recovery. He was replaced by veteran Center, JaVale McGee, (Denver Nuggets).
(Archived Photo July 2016)
The remainder of the team are the following first-time Olympians: Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Jrue Holiday (UCLA-Milwaukee Bucks), Zach LaVine (UCLA-Chicago Bulls), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks) and Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics). Bradley Beal-(Washington Wizards) was also initially selected to the team, but has withdrawn due to an overabundance of caution in compliance with current health and safety protocols. He was replaced by guard, Keldon Johnson, (San Antonio Spurs).
Since then, and after a week of training camp in Las Vegas, and three Exhibition games played, the aforementioned changes in player personnel are now in effect. An important reminder to all that Booker, Holiday, and Middleton, have not yet suited up with the team, as they are currently playing in the 2021 NBA Finals.
To see the USA Basketball brief video announcing the Team, click here.
Photo Credit: Ned Dishman, NBAE/via Getty Images
The Head Coach of the team will be Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs, and his Assistant Coaches are: Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors), Lloyd Pierce and Jay Wright (Villanova University). Jerry Colangelo continues to serve as the USA Men’s National Team Managing Director, although former Duke alum and NBA All-Pro & 7 x All-Star, Grant Hill, has been named to replace him for the new USA Basketball quadrennial period.
(Camp & Exhibition Game Recaps): The team assembled in Las Vegas, NV, for a brief training camp from July 6th through July 8th where they practiced against our USA Basketball’s Select Team. They then opened their slate of Exhibition Games on 7/10 and unexpectedly lost to Nigeria (100-97), which carried a group of seasoned NBA veterans on its roster. They were then defeated by Australia in their second game on 7/12 by the score of (91-83). Again, many foreign countries are now more competitive than ever due to the appearance of many NBA experienced players on their rosters. The road to Tokyo Gold may be quite different for this group of Olympians.
Team USA notched their first win against Argentina (108-80) on 7/13. Their second Exhibition game against Australia that was scheduled for Friday, 7/16 was cancelled due to the precautions taken for health and safety protocols. They will play their final Exhibition contest against Spain on Sunday 7/18. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 pm. Check your local listings for televised coverage.
All Exhibitions are played under existing FIBA International rules. Team USA departs for Japan early next week. Team USA begins their preliminary round play on Sunday, July 25th, against France (at 8:00 am EDT/5:00 am PT). They will then play Iran on Wednesday, July 28th at (12:40 am EDT/9:40 pm PT)) and will close out preliminary play on Saturday, July 31st (at 8:00 am EDT/5:00 am PT) versus Czech Republic. To see a full schedule of games that will be aired, click here.
To follow both the Men’s and the Women’s National & Olympic Teams during their path to Olympic Gold, and through our media affiliation with USA Basketball, please click here.
Photo Credit: USA Basketball
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