Despite absences from gold medal winners of years past, the 2021 Team USA basketball team that takes the court at the Tokyo Olympics at the Summer Games is the prohibitive favorite to stand atop the men’s podium once again.
Continue reading for all the key information you need to know, including the full Team USA basketball roster, the slate for the lead up to the Olympics, the Group Phase schedule and an overall preview of what this year’s squad is facing.
Team USA Basketball Schedule
|July 6-18||Training Camp at UNLV||—|
|Saturday, July 10||Nigeria 90, Team USA 87||8:00 PM|
|Monday, July 12||Australia 91, Team USA 83||8:00 PM|
|Tuesday, July 13||Team USA 108, Argentina 80||6:00 PM|
|Friday, July 16||Exhibition game vs. Australia — CANCELLED||6:00 PM|
|Sunday, July 18||Team USA 83, Spain 76||9:00 PM|
|Date||Summer Olympics matchup (Saitama, Japan)||Time (ET)|
|Sunday, July 25||France 83, USA 76||8:00 AM|
|Wednesday, July 28||USA vs. Iran||12:40 PM|
|Saturday, July 31||USA vs. TBD||8:00 AM|
|Tuesday, Aug. 3||Men’s basketball quarterfinals||TBD|
|Thursday, Aug. 5||Men’s basketball semifinals||TBD|
|Friday, Aug. 6||Men’s basketball Gold Medal Game||TBD|
|Saturday, Aug. 7||Men’s basketball Bronze Medal Game||TBD|
Team USA Basketball roster for Tokyo Olympics
Based on the NBA stars who’ve been widely reported to commit to the Olympics, here’s a look at the latest Team USA basketball roster for the Tokyo Games:
|Bam Adebayo||Center||Miami Heat|
|Devin Booker||Guard||Phoenix Suns|
|Kevin Durant||Forward||Brooklyn Nets|
|Jerami Grant||Forward||Detroit Pistons|
|Draymond Green||Forward||Golden State Warriors|
|Jrue Holiday||Guard||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Keldon Johnson||Forward||San Antonio Spurs|
|Zach LaVine||Guard||Chicago Bulls|
|Damian Lillard||Guard||Portland Trail Blazers|
|JaVale McGee||Center||Denver Nuggets|
|Khris Middleton||Forward||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Jayson Tatum||Forward||Boston Celtics|
The final Team USA basketball roster features 12 players, and it’s definitely an interesting group.
Notable absences include Los Angeles Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets. All of them suffered injuries during the shortened NBA regular season and are using this time in the offseason to recover.
Even though the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns qualified for the NBA Finals, it appears that Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Bucks teammates Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are committed to play.
Legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is at the helm for the Americans. Popovich takes over for Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, who’s going to retire following the Blue Devils’ upcoming season and has led the U.S. to three straight gold medals.
Team USA is calling on three Select Team players to fill out the roster: After a strong showing as part of the Select Team, Spurs wing Keldon Johnson has reportedly earned his way onto the 12-man roster, along with Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee, as Kevin Love backed out and Bradley Beal was ruled out.
You can bet many fans wanted to see young New Orleans Pelicans sensation Zion Williamson get a spot, not to mention Atlanta Hawks superstar Trae Young and NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball. Instead, Team USA opted for experience over youth. Time will tell if that was the right call.
Team USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics preview
Team USA has more than enough firepower to win the gold medal yet again, and since reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic isn’t going to play for Serbia, the 2016 silver medalists fell in their final qualifier to Italy, so they’re out of the running.
Although Spain figures to be a threat once again, the Americans should be too much for anyone to overcome, despite their sluggish start in two exhibition losses. The question is how this 2021 squad will respond, with a new coaching staff and a roster full of fresh faces in the fold.
As the roster currently stands, the only Team USA basketball holdovers from 2016’s triumphant team would be Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. They were newly minted Golden State Warriors teammates at the time, but especially once KD left for Brooklyn, there were some sour grapes.
The hope is that KD and Green can put aside their differences for the greater cause. They’ve acted cordially of late, but you never know what can happen. Losing exhibition games isn’t what anyone had in mind. What if things don’t jell in Tokyo?
Team USA is always a fascinating chemistry experiment, and considering how mercurial both players can be, the hope is that old frustrations don’t bubble back to the surface.
With Popovich coaching and the Warriors’ Steve Kerr serving as an assistant, it’ll certainly be an awkward dynamic that’ll need to be worked through.
A silver lining to the Nets’ early playoff exit is that Durant is likely to be eager to get back in action and play angry in Japan. Durant are poised to have phenomenal showings at the Olympics and really leave his imprint on this squad as a leader.
No matter who ultimately fills out the rest of the roster, this is a USA squad with a nice blend of backcourt depth and highly versatile frontcourt players in Durant, Jayson Tatum and Bam Adebayo.
After dealing with marginal talent on the Spurs amid a two-year playoff drought, it’ll be amazing to see Popovich at the controls of an absolutely loaded Team USA basketball roster. It should culminate in another gold medal win for the United States, as the Americans continue to assert their dominance on the hardwood.