There were huge doubts about what Team USA men’s basketball would look like at the Tokyo Olympics with a grueling, short season wreaking havoc on players’ bodies, causing many stars to withdraw from the Summer Games. However, the full menu has now been revealed, and the end product is much better than expected.
The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics will be held on Friday, July 23. Men’s basketball runs from July 25 until the gold medal game on August 7. The United States won three consecutive gold medals in the event after taking a stunning bronze at the 2004 Games in Athens, where they lost to Manu Ginobili and gold-medal-winning Argentina.
Here is the full list of 12 players for Team USA:
The USA’s 12-man squad for the Tokyo Olympics:
Shams Charania June 23, 2021
A healthy mix of established stars and veteran leadership, Team USA’s 2021 roster may miss the likes of Stephen Curry and LeBron James, but it’s still fantastic, with some of the best and most famous players in the world.
- Kevin Durant: One of the best players of his generation, Durant offers a 7-footer with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor. Also a hard-edged defender will help at the other end of the court. Durant helped the NBA team win gold medals in 2012 and 2016.
- Damian Lillard: Arguably the best goalkeeper in Team USA, Lillard can make his own shot and hit defenders with his ludicrous speed. He’s also one of the league’s top superstars in triple shooting, an ocean threat.
- Bradley Bale: Coming out of being ‘too good’ and entering the ‘stars’ zone, Bale is an often overlooked dynamite shooting creator who managed to excel in 2020-21, even with ball-hungry Russell Westbrook on his side. You should have no problem getting in with the other stars of Team USA and finding a suitable spot.
- Kevin Love: The 32-year-old “old man” of Team USA has been somewhat forgotten since the Cavaliers superstar team demolished. Still, a dual-striker with the ability to extend the floor out of the range, which should match up well with some, bone-euro shooters. Love was part of the 2012 gold medal winning team in London.
- Jason Tatum: Still just 23 years old, Tatum still looked like one of the brightest young talents in the game during his early career with the Boston Celtics. A 6’8 winger with the ability to score from all over the land, Tatum had a 60-point performance during the regular season and lost 50 points in a win over the Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs. He can play all over the ground and offer versatile scoring and defense.
- Devin Booker: Booker is the rising star who leads the Suns in the Western Conference playoffs. The 24-year-old is a dynamic scorer with a killer mid-range pull game and the ability to pry the floor off his three-point arc. Booker may only have days to prepare for the Olympics if he leads Phoenix to the NBA Finals.
- Zach LaVine: LaVine made his all-star debut this season with the Chicago Bulls, and is also another dynamic shooter and scorer. LaVine is a lethal three-point shooter who can also push the edge with his elite sport.
- Pam Adebayo: While Adebayo is a bit undersized for a position at 6’9, he’s a formidable goal and blocking shot, and he has a varied offensive skill set. Adebayo could fit in well with a faster small ball lineup, or take on a more traditional role in paint, offering something no one else on the list can do.
- Draymond Green: Greene’s reputation precedes him. Not only a stubborn, low-key rebel, Green brings in a little bit of a seed that Team USA needs. His role will be to irritate top opponents, and he will most likely be used in a rotational role to disable scorers from the bench.
- Jrue Holiday: The closest thing to a real ranger on the list, Holiday is another hybrid ranger often used on 1 or 2 in Milwaukee. A three-time All-Defensive player, he has the chops to shut down rival guards and isn’t afraid to mix them up and get sloppy loose bounces. A player of great effort will be welcomed on both ends of the floor.
- Chris Middleton: Middleton is a 29-year-old winger with a two-time All-Star team, who has quietly gone on to become one of the best shooters of his generation. While he is best known as Giannis Antetokounmpo’s companion at the Milwaukee Bucks, Middleton is a dynamic 6’8 goalscorer in his own right who will give Team USA more shots and versatility.
- Jerami Grant: A 6’8 bouncy striker, Grant took a big offensive leap in his first season with Detroit last year. It will provide extra protection for the coatings on defense and a bit of scoring off the bench for Team USA.