FILE PHOTO: May 19, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson (3) reacts during a dunk during the second quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
July 17, 2021
(Reuters) – USA Basketball named San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson and Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee to its Olympic roster on Friday, after two players were unable to make the trip to Tokyo.
Three-time National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star guard Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards was forced to go into health and safety protocol this week, and Cleveland Cavaliers five-time All-Star Kevin Love withdrew from the Games citing ongoing recovery to a calf injury.
“Our hearts truly break for Brad and Kevin,” USA Basketball Managing Director Jerry Colangelo said on Friday. “Keldon has played well during our training camp and in the exhibition games in Las Vegas, and being a member of the San Antonio Spurs he is familiar with the things coach (Gregg) Popovich wants this team to do.
“JaVale has been involved in our USA National Team program since 2009, and we believe he will offer a valuable inside presence.”
McGee is a three-time NBA champion.
The Stars and Stripes had previously cancelled an exhibition game against Australia that was set for Friday in Las Vegas due to concerns over COVID-19.
USA Basketball said it would wrap up its training camp with an exhibition game against Spain on Sunday.
The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23 and the Americans play in their preliminary round July 25.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Stephen Coates)