USA prepares his assault on FIBA basketball after the great disappointment of the China World Cup 2019. Although big stars like LeBron James or Anthony Davis have confirmed their withdrawal, the Team USA plans a very powerful team for Tokyo Olympics 2021.
More | The United States extends its preselection for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games
Team USA announced on March 11 its list of 57 players that make up the block from which the selected ones will come. Among the 57, veteran and young stars, specialists and respected figures of the competition. They started with an initial list of 42, but added another 15 names.
From The Athletic, a highly prestigious sports medium, have published a couple of articles informing about the players that could be part of the 12 chosen. In the first They indicated a list of 7 players who, it seems, are already engaged to Gregg Popovich:
- Russell westbrook (Washington Wizards)
- Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
- Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls)
- Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)
- Jayson tatum (Boston Celtics)
- Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans)
- Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
They added several interesting points. They confirmed the absences of James and Davis, and the doubts about what Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will do. The LA Clippers duo are still alive in the playoffs and their season’s outcome will influence the decision, as they are both on the 57 list. Stephen Curry, whose season ended earlier, is “50-50“On whether to play or not. As a point for his presence is that the point guard has never played a Games and with 33 years this would be his last great opportunity.
The truth is that the United States needs to have a roster loaded with stars to win gold. Although they are still the most powerful country on the planet in basketball, the distance with the FIBA teams is reduced and they have a key difference: while the rest of the countries work their selection over the years and maintain the same block, Team USA builds a roster of excellent players, but without the team connection. For this reason, it is essential to have that differential power granted by their illustrious names.
The previous list of 7 players that The Athletic puts out is interesting, but the LeBron, Kobe, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard are missing. Of course, all of these are among the 57 on the list, so they could go, although the media says that most likely none of the Brooklyn stars play (KD, Harden and Kyrie) and this would be the appointment for the inclusion of the new generation youth. As an interesting point, the two most prominent absences among the 57 with CJ McCollum and Ja Morant.
After his first information on June 7, again from The Athletic they indicated this June 15 what both Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) and Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors) would have announced their commitment to be in the Games to Team USA. Great news for your team and for the basketball fan.
More | The “Redeem Team”: the reconstruction of the United States National Team led by Kobe Bryant
Green has previous experience in Games (2016) and, despite his setback with the outside shot, he is a versatile and dominant pivot in defense. A vocal leader, intense and with hierarchy, something they did not have in the 2019 team. Plus, with Lillard they would have the best representative of their star power. And, who knows, perhaps the presence of both will encourage Curry to sign his engagement. A backcourt with Dame and Steph would delight the spectator and it would be very hard to defend for the opponent.
Should Lillard and Draymond’s names be confirmed, Team USA would put their roster at 9 players. Namely, if we add Curry, there would only be two seats. One should be for a forward and the other would either serve another versatile perimeter or a larger pivot, although in China Popovich hardly had the big pivots.
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its organizations.