HOUSTON._ Striker Kevin Durant, of the Brooklyn Nets, will be the NBA’s best player who will captain the United States national basketball team at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, where he will defend the title of champion.
The American Basketball Association confirmed, on Wednesday, the presence of goalkeeper Zach Lavigne of the Chicago Bulls team, and strong striker Jeramy Grant of the Detroit Pistons, as the last players to join the list of 12 who will be in Tokyo. 2020, after the injury of goalkeeper James Harden came out.
Durant’s teammate, along with the Nets, was unable to fully recover from the injury he picked up in his right hamstring and this also affected his participation in the Eastern Conference semifinal elimination as they lost 3-4 to the Milwaukee Bucks.
With the merger of Lavigne and Grant, the US team competing in Tokyo 2020 is closed under the guidance of veteran San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich, and Durant the big star who will be seeking a third gold medal and will be the only one of the twelve to win it in Rio de Janeiro 2016 .
But the team will have young talents and new NBA stars such as point guard Damian Lillard (Portland), goalkeeper Bradley Bell (Washington), quarterback Pam Adebayo (Miami), strong striker Jason Tatum (Boston) and Los Angeles. (Golden State) and Kevin Love (Cleveland).
While three other players on the shortlist, striker Chris Middleton and point guard Junior Holiday, both Bucks, are currently vying for their team in the Eastern Conference Finals, as does Spanish goalkeeper Devin Booker, who plays for the Phoenix Suns.
If both teams qualify for the NBA Finals and reach Game Seven, the three players will not be able to join the national team until after July 22, the official deadline for the playoffs to end.
The US’s first game in Japan is scheduled for July 25 against France, but according to USA Basketball, through its general manager, Jerry Colangelo, the three players have pledged to immediately fly to Japan on a private jet.
Colangelo and national team manager Sean Ford and Popovich have worked on a national team, without the top NBA stars, but much more complete than what they were able to provide at the last World Series, where they disappointed to finish seventh.
This time Popovic forgot about having traditional pivots and players specific when shooting into the basket and opted for professionals who can move in different positions and are also specialized in basket shots from any position, giving the team great versatility and physical strength on the field.
The United States Olympic team will gather on July 4 for a training camp in Las Vegas, where they will play exhibition matches against Spain, Australia, Nigeria and Argentina before leaving for Tokyo.
(With information from EFE via Yahoo)