After having a really bad campaign in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Team USA is ready to redeem themselves in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, in one of the most difficult tournaments in the world of sports. USA Basketball wants to send the best group of players to represent the country next summer and they have very ambitious plans for this team, as it revealed their 57-man list of finalists.
The organization revealed the list of the 57 players that will be in the pool for this tournament, naming the best of the best there, adding some huge names that will try to improve what an alternative team did two years ago in Spain. They want to go with everything they have andtheir list of finalists really shows that.
"Adding 15 players to 42 previously selected USA Basketball Men’s National Team finalists, 57 athletes today were announced by USA Basketball as finalists for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team. The player selections were approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors. The official 12-member U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team roster will be announced later this year.
"Added to the 2021 USA National Team roster, from which the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team will be selected, were - Jarrett Allen (Cleveland Cavaliers); Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets); Jerami Grant (Detroit Pistons); Blake Griffin (Brooklyn Nets); Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks); DeAndre Jordan (Brooklyn Nets); Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls); Julius Randle (New York Knicks); Duncan Robinson (Miami Heat); Mitchell Robinson (New York Knicks); Fred VanVleet (Toronto Raptors); John Wall (Houston Rockets); Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans); Christian Wood (Houston Rockets); and Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks).
"Forty-two of the athletes who were named as finalists on Feb. 10, 2020, also were confirmed for the 2021 list, including: Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat); LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns); Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers); Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics); Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat); Mike Conley (Utah Jazz); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers); DeMar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs); Andre Drummond (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets); Paul George (LA Clippers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); James Harden (Brooklyn Nets); Montrezl Harrell (Los Angeles Lakers); Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets); Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers); Gordon Hayward (Charlotte Hornets); Dwight Howard (Philadelphia 76ers); Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans); Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets); LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers); Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers); Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors); JaVale McGee (Cleveland Cavaliers); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz); Victor Oladipo (Houston Rockets); Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns); Mason Plumlee (Detroit Pistons); Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics); Russell Westbrook (Washington Wizards); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).
"'With the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to 2021, it’s important that we continue to remain flexible and consider all players who can contribute to our efforts to field the best USA team possible. These additions we are announcing today will help ensure that we are doing that,' said Jerry Colangelo, who has served as the managing director of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team since 2005. 'Having a larger player pool than what we normally have is critical because of all of the uncertainties we face about availability. But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.'
"The USA National Team coaching staff is led by long-time San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, and serving as USA assistant coaches are Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, former Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright."
After missing out on a big chance to win the 2019 FIBA World Cup, they're ready to turn things around this year and show the world that they're not done. While the rest of the world tried to level up to Team USA, they felt a little comfortable and that cost them the chance to be champions in the prior tournament. Now players like LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, and Kawhi Leonard have shown their enthusiasm to go play in Tokyo and USA Basketball is taking advantage of that.