July 30, 2021

Durant to lead new US set of NBA stars at Olympics

Durant to lead new US set of NBA stars at Olympics

BROOKLYN, NY – JUNE 19: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks during Round 2, Game 7 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 19, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP)

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.

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.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 19, 2021 Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets grabs the loose ball as Jrue Holiday #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks defends in the first half during game seven of the Eastern Conference second round at Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. – 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 June 23, 2021. (Photo by ELSA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

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.

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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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