AP sources: Beal, Booker commit to playing in Tokyo Olympics
Bradley Beal won a gold medal with USA Basketball 11 years ago, leading the Americans in scoring on their way to an undefeated run at the Under-17 world championship.
He's looking for another gold this summer — on international basketball's biggest stage.
The Washington Wizards guard and former University of Florida standout has committed to playing for the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics.
USA Basketball now has a full 12-man roster for the Tokyo Games, after Chicago's Zach LaVine and Detroit's Jerami Grant accepted invitations Wednesday to join the team that will try to win the program's fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal.
LaVine's decision was confirmed by his agent, Nima Namakian. Grant's decision was confirmed by a person familiar with the situation, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because USA Basketball has yet to formally reveal the full roster.
The challenge for the Americans will be keeping the group together. There has already been one change; Brooklyn's James Harden, who had briefly committed, has since told the national team that a hamstring injury that affected him during the NBA playoffs would not allow him to participate, the person familiar with the roster decisions told AP.
So, for now, the Olympic team that will be coached by Gregg Popovich in Tokyo: Washington's Bradley Beal, Brooklyn's Kevin Durant, Miami's Bam Adebayo, Milwaukee teammates Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, Portland's Damian Lillard, Cleveland's Kevin Love, Phoenix's Devin Booker, Golden State's Draymond Green, Boston's Jayson Tatum, LaVine and Grant.
It'll be the first Olympic appearance for Beal, who was a candidate for the team that won gold at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016 and again for the U.S. team that finished seventh at the Basketball World Cup in China two years ago. Beal wound up withdrawing from consideration in 2016 because of injury concerns, and in 2019 for family reasons.
Beal, a three-time All-Star who was announced earlier this week as an All-NBA selection for the first time, averaged a career-best 31.3 points for Washington this season.
He joins a backcourt that will include Booker as well as Portland guard Damian Lillard, who said Thursday that he has several reasons for wanting to play — the chance to be coached by Gregg Popovich among them. Booker, who is headed to the Western Conference finals for the first time, averaged 25.6 points this season.
The U.S. is also expecting forwards Draymond Green, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and Jayson Tatum to be part of the Tokyo-bound roster.
Some top names, such as LeBron James and Jimmy Butler, have already decided not to compete this summer for a variety of reasons.
USA Basketball has been aiming toward filling the 12-man roster for the Olympics by the end of this month.
The Americans — bidding for a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal — will convene for training camp in Las Vegas on July 6. They begin play in Tokyo against France, a strong medal contender, on July 25.