The Tokyo Olympics are officially postponed until 2021, but Team USA’s leadership is recommitting itself to stay in the job.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Gregg Popovich remain committed to the team into 2021, Colangelo said Tuesday. Both men’s futures in their roles had been uncertain after this summer.
“The commitments everyone made for 2020 are still there; we’re all-in and we’re committed,” Colangelo said. “It’s important to deal with the unknowns and this virus. This too shall pass, and we’ll be back for everyone’s well-being.”
Earlier this year, Colangelo and Popovich had announced a 44-man preliminary roster that was loaded with the top Americans in the game, with stars such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Kevin Durant (despite his Achilles injury) registering official interest in defending the gold medal.
All of that is in flux, as neither the Olympics nor the NBA have any firm dates for their respective future calendars. Last week in an interview with ESPN, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said it was possible the NBA’s calendar could shift in the future and possibly move later in the year.
Nothing is certain, but there is a possibility that the fallout from the suspended events this year could ended up causing the NBA and Olympics to have some conflicts. Prior to the postponement, Team USA training was scheduled to begin July 4 with the Olympics starting July 24.
“We will follow the leader. We have to wait to see how everything is laid out and we’ll make the adjustment,” Colangelo said. “Our players are NBA players first, let’s face that.”
Team USA had exhibitions tentatively planned this summer in Las Vegas, in San Francisco at the new Chase Center and in Shanghai before going to Tokyo. All of those will be postponed.
“Changing the window for the NBA is easier said than done. There’s a lot of logistics and contracts to deal with,” Colangelo said. “Same for the Olympics. You have to assume it will be around the same dates.”