Returning gold medalist Kevin Durant, first-time Olympians feature USA Basketball program


USA Basketball finalized its star-loaded program for the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, getting vows from Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine and Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant, while Brooklyn Nets star James Harden needed to pull out in view of a hamstring injury, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told ESPN.

The team will be featured by Kevin Durant, who will go for his third gold medal. He and previous Golden State Warriors colleague Draymond Green are the lone returning individuals from the 2016 team that won gold at the Rio Olympics. Be that as it may, the list is stacked with All-Stars playing in their first Olympics, including Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Bam Adebayo and Jayson Tatum. Kevin Love, who was on the 2012 gold-medal-winning squad in London, is additionally on the team.

Three players on the program – Milwaukee Bucks stars Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday and Phoenix’s Devin Booker – are as yet active in the postseason and could play as late as July 22, the most recent date for an NBA Finals Game 7.

Team USA’s first game in Japan is scheduled for July 25 against France. In any case, every one of the three have focused on traveling rapidly to Japan by private plane, Colangelo said.

“Life is about relationships, and we’ve got relationships with all these players over the years,” Colangelo said. “It’s been a process, and it hasn’t been easy.”

The loaded team was an aftereffect of solid long term recruiting and the domino effect of getting a few big names submitted early. Lately, Colangelo, national team director Sean Ford and coach Gregg Popovich have worked phones and sold a style of play.

Not at all like in 2019, when the Americans completed a disillusioning seventh in the World Cup with a team that included traditional centers and restricted shooting, this list is loaded up with players who can play numerous positions and are shooting specialists.

“Versatility and athleticism are trademarks of this group,” said Colangelo, who will retire following the Tokyo Games after 16 years of leading Team USA. “Our staff feels this will be a very competitive group and we’ll have shooting that we’ve been lacking. We’re going to go into camp feeling confident we’re going to perform well.”

Team USA will gather July 4 for training camp in Las Vegas and will play exhibition games against Spain, Australia, Nigeria and Argentina prior to leaving for Tokyo.

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