Two-time Olympic champions LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul are among 57 NBA names that make up the United States men’s basketball team’s pre-squad list for the Tokyo Games.
The list, released on Thursday by the American Federation (USA Basketball), has already announced 15 players in a group of 42 players who showed their interest in competing in Tokyo for the fourth consecutive gold medal for the United States to be confirmed.
The final choice of the 12 players to be part of the team will be announced later.
LeBron James, who led the Los Angeles Lakers to the title last season, and Chris Paul, a veteran Phoenix Suns point guard, played together on the US team that won gold medals in Beijing-2008 and London-2018.
‘King James’, who was part of the bronze medal winning team in Athens 2004, could have combined Carmelo Anthony as the only American basketball player to have been to the Olympics four times.
Kevin Durant, for his part, was part of the champion teams in London-2018 and Rio de Janeiro-2016 and is one of six players from the Brooklyn Nets, along with James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, in the pre-selection can be seen. Joe Harris and DeAndre Jordan.
Other big stars chosen are Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Anthony Davis (Lakers) and Qui Leonard (LA Clippers), while the most prominent youngsters include Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans), Try Young (Atlanta Hawks) and Jason Tatum ( Boston Celtics).
“With the Tokyo Olympics postponed from 2020 to 2021, it is important that we remain flexible and consider all players who can contribute to our efforts to present the best possible national team in the United States,” National Director General of said team, Jerry Colangelo.
Due to the hectic schedule of this NBA season, many stars practically modified their participation in the playoffs with their attendance at the games.
The dates are even tougher for teams reaching the finals, which, if the series reaches seven matches, will conclude on July 23 in Tokyo on the eve of the opening ceremony.
“We are in larger numbers than great players, usually fundamental, because of all the uncertainties that we face about availability,” Colangelo admitted.
San Antonio Spurs coaches will be responsible for directing the Olympic team with the support of veteran Gragg Popovich, among other assistants, Steve Kerr, coach of the Warriors and former Hawks coach Lloyd Pearce.
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