The U.S. men’s basketball team announced Thursday afternoon that Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal will miss the Tokyo Olympics this summer as he’s entered the health and safety protocols at Team USA training camp. Team USA is now in search for a player to replace Beal’s spot on the roster.
Here’s Team USA’s statement:
“USA Basketball Men’s National Team point guard Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), who was placed under USA Basketball’s health and safety protocols Wednesday, will remain in health and safety protocols and will be unable to participate in the July 23-August 8 Tokyo Olympic Games. A roster replacement will be named at a later time.
Out of an abundance of caution, USA Basketball Men’s National Team member Jerami Grant has been placed under USA Basketball’s health and safety protocols, USA Basketball announced Thursday afternoon.”
It is unclear how exactly Team USA’s protocols, or those that will be in place at the Olympics, differ from the protocols the NBA had in place during the season, but the Olympics are not taking many chances in the middle of this pandemic as the number of positive cases continue to spike in Japan. There will not be fans at the Olympics themselves, and now Beal will not be there either. Grant’s status with the team hasn’t been determined yet, but he could also miss the Olympics if Team USA deems it’s necessary.
Team USA still has two exhibition games remaining in Las Vegas. They will play against Australia on Friday and Spain on Sunday. The Olympic games themselves begin on Sunday, July 25 when Team USA takes on France. Games against Iran and the Czech Republic will follow, and then, assuming Team USA makes it that far, the single-elimination stage begins on Aug. 3.
Beal is a first-time Olympian but was an obvious choice after a spectacular season in which he came up just short in the race for the scoring title against Stephen Curry. He is a three-time NBA All-Star that made his first All-NBA Team last season. He won gold medals playing for Team USA’s U16 roster in the FIBA Americas Championship and its U17 squad in the World Championships.
With Beal missing the Olympics, Team USA is in an even more precarious position. Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are still playing in the NBA Finals, so they have not joined the team yet. That will put even more pressure on the Select Team members currently in Vegas to contribute, especially if a couple of them need to be promoted to the permanent roster for Tokyo. Saddiq Bey, Darius Garland and Keldon Johnson earned such promotions for the exhibition games, but it’s unclear who would be in line to replace Beal and potentially Grant.
Courtesy: CBS Sports