The United States is Tokyo-bound! Who would have thought a year later we would be having an Olympics, but all eyes are set for Japan. Team USA has announced the roster, and it is weird to see an Olympic squad without Lebron James, Steph Curry, and CP3. However, the team does include familiar national team members. Kevin Durant headlines the roster as a two-time gold medalist. He is joined by 2012 Olympic teammate Kevin Love and 2016 Olympic teammate Draymond Green. The remaining nine are Olympic rookies, but boast plenty of talent at the NBA level.
Don't get me wrong, it is a very solid team. Even without any Olympic experience, we should all feel comfortable with Booker, Tatum, and Beal. But you're telling me we couldn't get a Hoodie Melo as the 12th man? He is Captain America! In his lowest points in the NBA, he was always called upon to serve on Team USA, and he delivered. In the U.S. Olympic men’s career record book, Melo ranks first in games played (31), points (336), field goals made (113), field goals attempted (262), rebounds (125), 3-point field goals attempted (139), free throws made (53) and free throws attempted (71), and second in 3-point field goals made (57). He also is the first four-time men’s medalist and the first men’s player to win three Olympic gold medals. Now that he has revived himself in Portland, this would've been a perfect opportunity for him to have another platform to perform. This will be his first Olympics away since 2000.
Spurs head coach and Team USA HC, Gregg Popovich, has assembled a quality roster along with his assistants (Steve Kerr, Lloyd Pierce, Jay Wright). Since the departure of Coach Mike Krzyzewski as the Head Coach, the U.S. had its worst result ever in a major tournament. They placed seventh in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, after losing to France in the quarterfinals. However, that roster had two 2019 NBA All-Stars (Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton) and one player with Olympic experience (Harrison Barnes). The U.S. men are grouped in Tokyo with France, Iran, and the winner of a last-chance qualifying tournament in Victoria, B.C., potentially Canada. The gap between the U.S. and international talent is closing, especially with the likes of Giannis, Luka, and others around the globe. Let's hope the team can capture its fourth straight. LFG USA!