Men's basketball field set for Tokyo Olympics

7/19/2021 8:53:26 AM

    The 12-team field is set for men’s basketball at the Tokyo Olympic Games after the final spots were secured in qualifying tournaments on Sunday.
    Opening ceremonies for the Tokyo Olympics will be held on Friday, July 23. Men’s basketball will tip off Sunday, July 25 and run through Saturday, August 7.
    Here is a look at who will be competing:
    Group A
    United States
    This U.S. roster will be led by Kevin Durant, who will be looking to win his third gold medal. Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Zach LaVine, Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green, Jerami Grant, Bradley Beal and Kevin Love make up the rest of the roster.
    The United States is looking for its fourth straight gold medal after defeating Serbia in the 2016 Olympic final in Rio.
    NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert leads the French team, which will make its third straight appearance in the Olympics. The Utah Jazz big man will be joined by LA Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, Boston Celtics forward Evan Fournier, Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina. The French will be considered medal contenders, as they earned bronze at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
    Czech Republic
    Czech Republic qualified for its first Olympic Games ever after a win over Greece in the FIBA qualifying tournament in Canada. The team reached the finals after a semifinal thriller that will go down in Czech basketball history when Chicago Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky banked home a game-winner in overtime to send host Canada home and advance to the finals.
    Satoransky led Czech Republic in the finals victory, and will look to take on a leading role in Tokyo as well.
    Iran will compete in men’s basketball at the Olympics for the third time in its history after earning its spot as the highest-ranked Asian team at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. The Iranians last reached the Olympic Games in 2008, and also competed in 1948.
    Group B
    The Australians will make their 13th consecutive appearance in the Olympic men’s basketball field, a streak dating back to 1968. San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills joins Utah Jazz sharpshooter Joe Ingles, Toronto Raptors center Aron Baynes, Cleveland Cavaliers guards Dante Exum and Matthew Dellavedova, and Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Green on the roster.
    Mills will be competing in his fourth consecutive Olympics. The Australians reached the semifinals in Rio in 2016.
    Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown leads the Nigerian national team, which will make its third straight appearance in the Olympics. Nigeria qualified as the highest-ranked African team at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
    Nigeria will have a bevy of NBA players to choose from, as players like Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie, Miami Heat forward Precious Achiuwa and Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris were invited to training camp. According to the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF), the final roster will be announced on July 17.
    With a win over Serbia in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament finals, Italy secured its first Olympic berth since 2004, when the team captured a silver medal at the Athens Games.
    Golden State Warriors guard Nico Mannion led Italy in its final qualifying victory and will try to lead the squad in Tokyo as well. Dallas Mavericks center Nicolo Melli also brings NBA experience to the Italian roster.
    Germany is back in the Olympic field for the first time since 2008 after winning the FIBA qualifying tournament in Croatia. Orlando Magic forward Moritz Wagner scored 28 points in the final to lead the Germans past Brazil.
    Washington Wizards forward Isaac Bonga also plays for the German squad as it chases its first ever Olympic medal in men’s basketball.
    Group C
    Argentina returns to the Olympic stage this summer under head coach Sergio Hernandez, who coached the team at the 2008 and 2016 Olympics. The squad is led by a trio of NBA players: Denver Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Gabriel Deck and guard Luca Vildoza, who signed with the New York Knicks in May.
    Argentina eyes its first Olympic podium finish since 2008, when it secured a bronze medal four years after capturing gold at the Athens Games in 2004. The team is currently ranked No. 4 in the FIBA World Ranking.
    Japan will make its first Olympic appearance since 1976 after qualifying as the host of this summer’s Games. Toronto Raptors forward Yuta Watanabe and Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura bring NBA talent to the roster and will try to lead Japan out of a tough Group C.
    After finishing with a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games and silvers in 2012 and 2008, Spain looks to be a medal contender once again this summer in Tokyo. The Spanish roster boasts both experience and NBA talent, with Pau and Marc Gasol, Willy and Juancho Hernangomez and Ricky Rubio leading the squad.
    Spain won the 2019 FIBA World Cup and is currently ranked No. 2 in the FIBA World Rankings, behind only the United States.
    Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic led Slovenia to its first-ever Olympic Games after knocking off Lithuania, 96-85, in the finals of a FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in Lithuania.
    Doncic came up with a 31-point triple-double to carry the Slovenians to Tokyo. He will be one of the biggest names in the Olympic field, and could make Slovenia a tough out in this group.
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