With the start of the Tokyo Olympics just a couple of weeks away, the United States men's basketball team was forced to make a couple of late changes. Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love were both on the original 12-man roster, but neither player will travel to Tokyo with the team. Beal will be forced to missed the Olympics after entering into health and safety protocols, while Kevin Love has withdrawn from competition due to a lingering calf injury.
Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee and San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson were selected as the two replacements for Beal and Love, Team USA announced Friday. McGee and Johnson will join a star-studded roster for Team USA that also includes Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, and Devin Booker.
The team is coached by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who is the successor to Mike Krzyzewski. Popovich previously won a bronze medal as an assistant coach under Larry Brown at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Joining Popovich on the coaching are Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, former Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University coach Jay Wright.
When we last saw Team USA on the international stage, it finished seventh in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Entering that tournament, the Americans had won 58 consecutive games in international competition dating back to the 2006 World Cup, but the 2019 roster was perhaps the weakest Team USA ever fielded with NBA players. Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez were the only players on the team who had made an All-Star Game prior to that tournament. Youngsters like Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the way, but they came up short against more experienced teams like France and Serbia.
"Our roster features players who are experienced in the international game, and this team has outstanding athleticism, versatility and balance," Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo said of the current team. "We also believe we have excellent leadership which is a necessity in order to develop the needed chemistry. We still have a lot of challenges in front of us, but I believe these players will become a team that all Americans will be proud of."
Like Colangelo said, lacking star power won't be an issue for Team USA in Tokyo with the names on board. It should arrive in Tokyo as heavy favorites to win gold. Below is the complete list of 12 players who have committed to play for the U.S. this summer, as well as those who declined and will sit out the 2020 Olympics.
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Team USA's 12-man roster
- Bam Adebayo: This marks the Heat star's first-ever participation in an international tournament. In 2019, Adebayo was cut from the Team USA squad that went to the World Cup.
- Devin Booker: The Phoenix Suns guard has never participated in the Olympics before.
- Kevin Durant: The Brooklyn Nets star was part of Team USA's gold medal rosters in 2012 and 2016.
- Jerami Grant: The Detroit Pistons forward has never competed at the senior level with Team USA, but he was part of the under 18 FIBA Americas championship squad that took home gold in Brazil in 2012.
- Draymond Green: The Golden State Warriors forward won gold for Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
- Jrue Holiday: The Milwaukee Bucks guard has never competed in the Olympics, but was previously a member of the 2012 USA Select Team that trained with and against Team USA ahead of the 2012 London Games.
- Zach LaVine: This marks the Chicago Bulls' star's first-ever participation in an international tournament. Following a breakout 2020-21 season in which he was named to his first All-Star Game, LaVine's inclusion on the roster is certainly deserving.
- Damian Lillard: The Portland Trail Blazers guard has never participated in the Olympics but has been a finalist on numerous occasions.
- Keldon Johnson: The Spurs guard has never participated in the Olympics before. He was selected to replace Beal (health and safety protocols) on Team USA's roster.
- JaVale McGee: The Denver Nuggets center has never participated in the Olympics before. He replaces Kevin Love, who withdrew due to a lingering calf injury.
- Khris Middleton: The Milwaukee Bucks forward has never competed on the Olympic stage, but was a member of Team USA during the seventh-place finish of the FIBA World Cup in 2019.
- Jayson Tatum: The Boston Celtics forward has never participated in the Olympics, but was a member of the 2019 USA World Cup Team.
- Bradley Beal will miss Olympics due to health and safety protocols
- Kevin Love withdraws from competing in Olympics due to lingering calf injury
Players confirmed to have declined
The following players either confirmed themselves that they are not playing, or reports indicated that they declined:
- LeBron James: The Los Angeles Lakers forward confirmed that he plans to spend his offseason resting and promoting his upcoming Space Jam sequel. James played for Team USA in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
- Anthony Davis: LeBron's Lakers teammate is not expected to play for Team USA either, according to The Athletic's Joe Vardon. Davis wore red, white and blue at the 2012 Olympics, earning a gold medal before ever playing an NBA game.
- Jimmy Butler: Miami's star forward has declined an invitation to play for Team USA, according to The Miami Herald's Anthony Chiang. The Heat, like the Lakers, had less than three months off after the 2020 NBA Finals, so Butler will focus on rest and recovery after Miami lost its first-round series to Milwaukee.
- Stephen Curry: The Golden State Warriors guard has opted against playing in the Tokyo Olympics, per Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Curry has never been part of a Team USA roster that competed in the Olympics.
- Donovan Mitchell: The Utah Jazz star has declined an invitation to play for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Rather than play in the Olympics, Mitchell plans to use the time off to rest and rehab his injured ankle.
- Chris Paul: The Phoenix Suns guard has declined an invitation to play in the 2020 Games, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Paul, a a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Team USA (2008, 2012), was reportedly expected to pass if his Suns reached the NBA Finals.
- Kye Lowry: The Toronto Raptors guard has reportedly declined an invitation to play in the Tokyo Olympics, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Lowry's impending free agency this summer was the reason he declined the invitation.
- James Harden: Although Harden originally committed to playing for Team USA, he reportedly withdrew his name due to the hamstring injury that hampered him throughout the playoffs with the Brooklyn Nets, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.
The following 57 players were named as finalists by Team USA.
- Jarrett Allen, C, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Eric Gordon, G, Houston Rockets
- Jerami Grant, F, Detroit Pistons
- Blake Griffin, F, Brooklyn Nets
- Jrue Holiday, G, Milwaukee Bucks
- DeAndre Jordan, C, Brooklyn Nets
- Zach LaVine, F, Chicago Bulls
- Julius Randle, F, New York Knicks
- Duncan Robinson, F, Miami Heat
- Mitchell Robinson, C, New York Knicks
- Fred VanVleet, G, Toronto Raptors
- John Wall, G, Houston Rockets
- Zion Williamson, F, New Orleans Pelicans
- Christian Wood, C, Houston Rockets
- Trae Young, G, Atlanta Hawks
- LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers
- Bam Adebayo, C, Miami Heat
- LaMarcus Aldridge, F, Retired
- Harrison Barnes, F, Sacramento Kings
- Malcolm Brogdon, G, Indiana Pacers
- Jaylen Brown, G, Boston Celtics
- Donovan Mitchell, G, Utah Jazz
- Khris Middleton, F, Milwaukee Bucks
- Jimmy Butler, F, Miami Heat
- Mike Conley, G, Utah Jazz
- Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors
- Anthony Davis, F, Los Angeles Lakers
- DeMar DeRozan, G, San Antonio Spurs
- Andre Drummond, C, Los Angeles Lakers
- Kevin Durant, F, Brooklyn Nets
- Paul George, F, Los Angeles Clippers
- Draymond Green, F, Golden State Warriors
- James Harden, G, Brooklyn Nets
- Montrezl Harrell, F, Los Angeles Lakers
- Joe Harris, F, Brooklyn Nets
- Tobias Harris, F, Philadelphia 76ers
- Gordon Hayward, F, Charlotte Hornets
- Dwight Howard, C, Philadelphia 76ers
- Brandon Ingram, F, New Orleans Pelicans
- Kyrie Irving, G, Brooklyn Nets
- Kyle Kuzma, F, Los Angeles Lakers
- Kawhi Leonard, F, Los Angeles Clippers
- Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers
- Brook Lopez, C, Milwaukee Bucks
- Kevin Love, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Kyle Lowry, G, Toronto Raptors
- Victor Oladipo, G, Miami Heat
- Chris Paul, G, Phoenix Suns
- Mason Plumlee, C, Detroit Pistons
- Myles Turner, C, Indiana Pacers
- Kemba Walker, G, Boston Celtics
- Russell Westbrook, G, Washington Wizards
- Derrick White, G, San Antonio Spurs
- JaVale McGee, C, Denver Nuggets