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USA Basketball unveils Olympic team before Las Vegas training camp

Updated June 29, 2021 - 10:18 am

USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo acknowledged the obvious Monday: The attrition of the condensed NBA season whittled away the pool of players from which the organization was able to select its Olympic roster.

“The good news is, we’re very deep,” Colangelo said during a virtual news conference. “We have a lot of great players in the NBA. We have a lot of great players in this country. It’s the matter of tapping the right players to replace those who weren’t able to participate.”

USA Basketball officially unveiled its Olympic roster before its July training camp in Las Vegas. Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets star forward and two-time NBA Finals MVP, is among the headliners, along with Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, Phoenix Suns wing Devin Booker and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.

The 12-man roster will train in Las Vegas from July 6 to 19 and play exhibition games at Michelob Ultra Arena to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.

“Las Vegas became the basketball center in the country during the offseason with the youth tournaments and everything else that was going on. The Summer League became bigger and better each year. … It just seemed natural,” said Colangelo, who will cede duties to Grant Hill after the Tokyo Games.

“We’ve had great partnerships over the years. We’ve moved on to MGM … . There’s a new relationship for the NBA and USA Basketball with MGM. That’s an exciting new experience.”

Of the 12 players selected, only Durant (2012, 2016), Green (2016) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (2012) have Olympic experience. Colangelo didn’t get specific, but he noted that injuries to notable NBA stars forced USA Basketball to adjust the construction of the roster.

Booker and Milwaukee Bucks standouts Khris Middleton and Jrue Holliday could be playing in the NBA Finals until July 22, making for a quick turnaround in Tokyo, where the Americans play France on July 25. But Colangelo is confident Team USA will find a way bring the gold medal back home.

“USA Basketball is as strong as it’s ever been,” Colangelo said. “You deal with the cards that you’re dealt. With the great efforts of our organization, we’ve put together a strong team to represent the United States. … This year, we have a blending of players with experience. International experience. Some medal experience. And then new blood, which is always important.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

USA Olympic roster

Bam Adebayo

Bradley Beal

Devin Booker

Kevin Durant

Jerami Grant

Draymond Green

Jrue Holiday

Zach LaVine

Damian Lillard

Kevin Love

Khris Middleton

Jayson Tatum

Coaching staff

Head coach: Gregg Popovich

Assistant coaches: Steve Kerr, Lloyd Pierce, Jay Wright

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