After two losses to begin their exhibition slate prior to the Olympics, the men’s USA Basketball team bounced back with a convincing win over Argentina. In the moment, that showing eased at least some of the early concerns about the squad’s forecast for Tokyo, but in the ensuing hours, roster concerns have piled up. Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal is officially out of the Tokyo Olympics after entering health and safety protocols and Jerami Grant joined Beal in the protocols shortly thereafter. As a result, word broke earlier on Thursday that the squad’s penultimate tune-up against Australia could be canceled, and that is now officially the case.
Out of an abundance of caution, the USA Men’s National Team exhibition versus Australia on Friday has been cancelled.
The USA Women’s National Team’s matchup with Australia will be played at 2:30 PM ET on NBCSN.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) July 16, 2021
As noted in the official announcement, the women’s team will still take on Australia at 2:30 p.m. ET, but the men’s team is now down to only one more exhibition tilt. They are scheduled to face Spain on Sunday in Las Vegas before heading to Tokyo.
With Beal and Grant out of action, Team USA would have been down to only seven of their 12 players from the original roster, with three players (Khris Middleton, Devin Booker and Jrue Holiday) still participating in the NBA Finals. Reports are circulating that USA Basketball is looking to replace Beal before the team makes its way to the Olympics but, for now, there isn’t anything official.
It certainly seems logical to avoid playing an exhibition tilt if there was any concern whatsoever, and the statement notes an abundance of caution. It will be interesting to see how things proceed from here, though, particularly with the Olympics set to begin in fewer than ten days.