Popovich is aware of filling US Olympic roster could also be a problem


Recreation 7 of the 2021 NBA Finals, as of now, could be performed on July 22.

The opening cermony of the Tokyo Olympics, as of now, could be the following day.

And when introduced with this potential scheduling conundrum, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich – who will coach USA Basketball males’s nationwide crew on the subsequent Olympics – got here up with a really fast, very lighthearted resolution.

”I do not suppose we’ll let the finals go seven video games,” Popovich mentioned.

All jokes apart, Popovich is aware of that the NBA schedule and the way it comes very near the beginning of the rescheduled Tokyo Video games will probably be a problem for USA Basketball to navigate subsequent yr when selecting the 12 gamers who will attempt to win a fourth consecutive males’s Olympic gold medal.

Popovich will probably be head coach of the Olympic crew for the primary time, succeeding Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

”The Olympics is all the time on my thoughts, simply as Coach Okay instructed me it could be,” Popovich mentioned Tuesday. ”You may’t get away from it. So, this state of affairs, because it stands proper now, does appear problematic within the sense that organizing issues and determining who’s going to be a part of the crew is but to be decided.”

There’s a plan. As with every thing else in a coronavirus world, it is tentative, however there’s a plan.

The pool of finalists – if previous type holds, it’s going to be round 40 or 50 names – will probably be revealed by USA Basketball someday in early 2021, step one in what the People hope is a considerably regular sequence of occasions main as much as the Tokyo Video games.

The 2016 Olympic crew was picked about six weeks earlier than the beginning of the Rio Video games, permitting time for a coaching camp and exhibitions earlier than heading to Brazil. If the identical timetable holds subsequent yr – and assuming the NBA schedule is not modified alongside the best way – the U.S. Olympic crew may very well be picked in mid-to-late June, across the finish of the second spherical of the NBA playoffs.

”We all know there’s so many variables,” mentioned Sean Ford, USA Basketball’s males’s nationwide crew director. ”We will discuss to all of the organizations that we are able to, to attempt to discover a pathway to incorporate as many NBA gamers in our remaining roster as potential.”

Loads of elite NBA gamers like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Draymond Inexperienced, Devin Booker, James Harden and extra all mentioned getting into final season that they have been occupied with enjoying within the Tokyo Video games. That, in fact, was months earlier than the coronavirus struck and altered a lot.

The complexities aren’t simply restricted to U.S. gamers.

Many worldwide gamers – like Milwaukee’s two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece and Denver’s Nikola Jokic of Serbia – have mentioned they wish to play, however their nations have to nonetheless qualify subsequent summer time simply to get to Tokyo and people qualifying rounds will happen through the NBA playoffs. Toronto coach Nick Nurse is slated to teach Canada in its efforts to qualify; he, too, could face a schedule battle if the Raptors go deep into the playoffs once more.

Popovich sounded assured that the U.S. is greater than able to figuring issues out.

”The timing does make every thing troublesome,” Popovich mentioned. ”And it’ll demand some actual soul-searching and out-of-the-box kind of pondering to place collectively the very best crew we presumably can.”

Extra AP sports activities: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports activities





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