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Team USA basketball: Blazers’ Damian Lillard, Warriors’ Draymond Green commit to play in Olympics, per report

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The first pair of players to commit to Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics this summer has emerged. Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green are among the initial commitments to the team, according to Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic. It would be the first Olympic action for Lillard, who dropped out of consideration for the Rio Games in 2016, while Green would be making his second appearance after suiting up for Team USA in 2016. 

Both Lillard and Green are available to play for Team USA after their respective NBA squads failed to make deep playoff runs. Lillard’s Blazers were eliminated in the first round of the postseason by the Denver Nuggets, while Green’s Warriors failed to qualify for the playoffs after losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA’s play-in tournament. 

This summer, Team USA will be seeking its fourth consecutive gold medal, after taking home the gold in 2008, 2012, and 2016. The team will be coached by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who is the successor to Mike Krzyzewski. Popovich previously won a bronze medal as an assistant coach under Larry Brown at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. 

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Training camp for Team USA is scheduled to on July 6 in Las Vegas, with the Olympics set to start on July 23 in Tokyo. The group stage of the Olympic basketball tournament will run from July 25 to Aug. 1, and the knockout stage with run from Aug. 3-7. 

It will be interesting to see who else joins Lillard and Green to represent the United States. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has already shot down the idea of playing, while Green’s Warriors teammate, Steph Curry, is up in the air about playing. Both were on the 57-man preliminary roster announced back in March. The full roster for the team is expected to be set by the end of June. 


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