Durant to lead new US set of NBA stars at Olympics: report

Agence France-Presse June 24,2021 - 09:08 AM

Kevin Durant | AFP photo

New York—Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant will compete for a third Olympic title in Tokyo alongside a new group of NBA stars seeking gold, according to an ESPN report Wednesday.

A story on the US-based sports television network’s website said Durant, whose team was eliminated by Milwaukee in the second round of the NBA playoffs, will be the only player returning from the 2016 Rio champions.

READ: Bucks advance, overcome Durant-led Nets in Game 7 thriller

USA Basketball finalized its roster on Wednesday with commitments from Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine and Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant, according to the story.

Nets star guard James Harden was forced to skip the Olympics due to a hamstring injury, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told ESPN.

Those making their Olympic debut will include Portland’s Damian Lillard, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Golden State’s Draymond Green.

The lineup reportedly also includes Cleveland forward Kevin Love, who helped the US to gold in London in 2012.

Three other players on the reported roster remain in the NBA playoffs — Phoenix swingman Devin Booker and Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton and guard Jrue Holiday.

All three could battle for an NBA title as late as July 22, the date of a possible NBA Finals game seven as well as the eve of the Olympic opening ceremonies.

Colangelo told ESPN that all three have agreed to fly to Japan by private plane in order to be in Tokyo when the Americans play their Olympic opener against France on July 25.

The American Olympic squad will gather in Las Vegas on July 4 to begin a training camp and play exhibition games before departing for Japan.

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