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After The NBA’s Crammed-In Season, How Will Olympic Basketball Work Out?

Popovich has a challenge but could still put together a formidable team

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - MAY 04: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots over Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter of an NBA game at Smoothie King Center on May 04, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The pandemic and the NBA’s improvised schedule might make life more difficult for Gregg Popovich than it has to be as the US Olympic basketball coach.

Although the pandemic is easing up in the US, it’s not everywhere and Japan is still being quite cautious with a certain amount of resistance for the games.

And as this article in the Houston paper points out, it’s not the usual good time in a major foreign city for the players or families.

Still, Pop could end up taking guys like Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum, Damien Lillard, Bradley Beal and Seth Curry, which would be a pretty good base. We’d be tempted to see if Klay Thompson wanted to go to get some reps in after so long away but he might not want to risk it. Worth a shot though, pun intended, even as the last man on the bench.

For younger players, it’d be a chance to make a bigger name and to market themselves internationally.

And now, they could see plenty of NBA rivals from other countries. This year’s Olympic championship is not going to be an easy victory for anyone but we will say, we can’t see anyone, anywhere, matching up well with Williamson. It’d be a great move for him to go in any number of ways. He’s already celebrated but if he does his thing on the biggest International stage possible, he’s going to benefit tremendously.