The US men’s basketball team added Keldon Johnson of the San Antonio Spurs and JaVale McGee of the Denver Nuggets to their roster after two other players were unable to participate in the Tokyo Olympics for health reasons.
Bradley Beal, a guard who is expected to be one of the top scorers for the United States, will miss the Olympics after entering coronavirus health and safety protocols. Kevin Love retired on Friday due to an ongoing calf injury.
Team USA also canceled Friday’s show against Australia and placed Jerami Grant on coronavirus logs as the team faces several challenges ahead of the Olympics starting next week. Team USA coach Gregg Popovich told reporters he expected Grant to still attend the Olympics.
Beal started all three shows and averaged 10.3 points per game in 10v21 shooting. He finished second in the NBA that season with 31.3 points per game for the Washington Wizards.
“This has been a dream of his since was a little kid and he played great,” Popovich told reporters, adding, “It’s been devastating for him and his immediate family. We just feel terrible about it. “
The men’s team got off to a shaky start in defending their three consecutive gold medals. Team USA opened with show losses to Nigeria and Australia before defeating Argentina.
Top players like LeBron James (Lakers), Jimmy Butler (Heat), Kyrie Irving (Nets) and James Harden (Nets) declined to participate in the Olympic Games after a shortened off-season last year. Striker Jayson Tatum (Celtics), who is on the squad, is struggling with pain in his right knee. Also on the team: Bam Adebayo (Heat), Kevin Durant (Nets), Draymond Green (Golden State), Zach LaVine (Bulls) and Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers).
Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton and Phoenix’s Devin Booker are expected to join the team after the NBA finals are over. The best-of-seven series is tied for two games each, with game 5 on Saturday in Phoenix.