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James Harden has decided against playing for Team USA in next month’s Olympics due to a hamstring injury that hampered him throughout the Nets’ early post-season exit. Though Harden won’t make the trip to Tokyo, teammate Kevin Durant will suit up for the favored red, white, and blue.
Joining Durant on the star-studded roster are NBA veterans Damian Lillard, Kevin Love, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Draymond Green, Bam Adebayo, Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker, Zach LaVine, Jerami Grant and Khris Middleton.
Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball’s managing director is encouraged by the roster’s potential, telling ESPN: “Versatility and athleticism are trademarks of this group. Our staff feels this will be a very competitive group and we’ll have shooting that we’ve been lacking. We’re going to go into camp feeling confident we’re going to perform well.”
There’s budding enthusiasm surrounding the U.S. team, who finished a disappointing seventh in 2019’s World Cup. As OutKick’s Clint Lamb discussed, the NBA has a solid product that generates excitement when they can stay out of their own way.
After several big-name NBA players declined past Olympic and World Cup invites, Colangelo and his staff relied on strong recruiting to build relationships with stars to help the U.S. compete against the world’s best: “Life is about relationships, and we’ve got relationships with all these players over the years,” Colangelo told ESPN. “It’s been a process, and it hasn’t been easy.”
Team U.S.A. begins training camp in Las Vegas on July 4th. They’ll have exhibition games against Spain, Australia, Nigeria and Argentina. Their first Olympic game will be July 25th against France, which features reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.
5 CommentsLeave a Reply
As Indiana Jones would say, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Won’t be watching that mess either
It’s hard to get excited for athletes who hate this country, but choose to suit up wearing the name of her across their chest. Makes no damn sense. They are all about marketing their brand globally, not for love of country. I will not be watching.
Let’s assume or a moment I cared about the NBA…
Maybe he’s gonna play for China. Maybe the NBA won’t be rigged next season. The latter is never gonna happen, the former is likely.