Perennial NBA All-Star Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets is one of the headliners named to the 12-man Team USA squad for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, according to a report Wednesday by The Athletic.
Durant will be playing in the Olympics for the third time after helping lead Team USA to the gold medal in both 2012 and 2016. Other past Olympians who will return to the team are Golden State Warriors forward/center Draymond Green (2016) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (2012).
The Athletic identified the other members of the team as guards Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns, Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks, Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls, and Damien Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers; forwards Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons, and Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics; swing man Khris Middleton of the Bucks; and center Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat.
The website reported that Grant, a second-round draft choice of the 76ers in 2014, replaced Brooklyn’s James Harden. Harden committed to Team USA after the Nets were eliminated from the NBA playoffs but later withdrew to rehab a hamstring injury.
Players who have chosen not to participate include LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, Stephen Curry of the Warriors, former Villanova star Kyle Lowry of Toronto, Chris Paul of the Suns, Jimmy Butler of the Heat, and Kyrie Irving of the Nets.
The pushback of the NBA schedule and 2021 playoffs could prevent full participation in Team USA’s pre-Olympic activities for Booker, Holiday, and Middleton, whose teams are in the conference finals.
The conference finals would end on July 2 in the West and July 5 in the East if each goes seven games. Game 7 of the NBA Finals could be played as late as July 22. Team USA preseason workouts begin July 6 in Las Vegas, and the team departs July 19 for Tokyo to prepare for its first game on July 25.
Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs is the head coach of Team USA, assisted by Golden State’s Steve Kerr, former Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce, and Villanova’s Jay Wright.