The United States have several Olympic gold medal winners among their 44 finalists for the team that will compete at this summer’s Tokyo Games.
Among them is LeBron James, who reached the top of the podium at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and former FIBA Basketball World Cup MVPs Kevin Durant (2010) and Kyrie Irving (2014).
Durant, who hasn’t played at all this season for the Brooklyn Nets while he recovers from an Achilles injury, won gold at the 2012 London Games while both he and Irving reached the top of the podium in Rio.
Other finalists include Bam Adebayo, LaMarcus Aldridge, Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, Jimmy Butler, Mike Conley, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, Paul George, Draymond Green, James Harden, Montrezl Harrell, Joe Harris, Tobias Harris, Gordon Hayward, Dwight Howard, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, Kyle Lowry, JaVale McGee, Khris Middleton, Donovan Mitchell, Victor Oladipo, Chris Paul, Mason Plumlee, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Klay Thompson, Myles Turner, Kemba Walker, Russell Westbrook and Derrick White.
“This is the first step in USA Basketball identifying the 12 players who will represent the United States as members of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team in Tokyo,” said Jerry Colangelo, the managing director of the USA Basketball men’s national team since 2005.
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“The commitment, desire and excitement of all of our athletes to represent their country is genuine and remarkable. All of the finalists are exceptionally gifted athletes who offer us amazing versatility and depth, and the group of finalists features a range of players from those who are very experienced and accomplished in international basketball to players who will be future international stars.”
“I’m looking forward to coaching the U.S. Olympic Team, and I’m excited about the potential and possibilities this team has,” said USA coach Gregg Popovich.
Popovich was an assistant coach on the USA team that finished third at the 2004 Olympics. Last summer, he led the Americans into the Quarter-Finals, where they were beaten by France.
All 12 members of the USA’s 2019 World Cup Team are finalists and include Barnes, Brown, Joe Harris, Lopez, Middleton, Mitchell, Plumlee, Smart, Tatum, Turner, Walker and White. Barnes was in the USA team that won the Olympic gold medal in Rio.
“Anyone who follows international basketball knows there are many really good players from all around the world, and therefore there are many excellent national teams,” Popovich said.
“International basketball has improved so much from the days of the Dream Team. The Olympics in 2020 will be a true competition, and there are many teams that will have a legitimate shot at capturing gold.”
The Olympic basketball tournament will be played at the Saitama Super Arena. In addition, to host Japan, nations qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics men’s basketball competition include Argentina, Australia, France, Iran, Nigeria, Spain and the United States.
The final four teams for the Tokyo Olympics will qualify through four FIBA’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that are being staged in Canada, Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia.