The 2021 Tokyo Olympics will start on 23 July in the midst of uncertainty and controversy as COVID-19 continues to cause problems in Japan and around the world.
The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) have already had to deal with individuals testing positive at the Olympic village.
However, they are determined for the games to go on even as locals protest in Tokyo.
A number of top athletes from different countries have chosen not to fly to Tokyo and as a result, the 2021 Olympics is going to be a bit lacklustre not just because some of the big names are missing in action but also because of all the COVID-19 protocols.
The United States usually sends a very strong men’s basketball team over to the Olympics as the Americans have most of the best basketball players in the world and have been dominant at the Olympics. Some of their biggest stars in Lebron James, James Harden, Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving are not on the plane to Tokyo because of injury and personal reasons.
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A number of players who were selected for the Olympics also had to cancel at the last minute. Kevin Love sustained an injury few days before they could fly out; Bradley Beal contracted a virus and Zach LaVine was suddenly put into quarantine and was not allowed to board the flight to Tokyo.
While the Americans have named 12 players for the Olympics, only 8 have made the trip to Tokyo. They are waiting on Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton who are currently playing in the NBA Championship finals with the Phoenix Suns taking on the Milwaukee Bucks.
If the Bucks wins Game 6, the three of them will be able to make the trip to Tokyo quickly. However if the Suns fight back and push it into Game 7, then the trio will show up very late to Tokyo and have less than 3 days to prepare for their game against France.
Not Clarify For Coach Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich who is the head coach for the San Antonio Spurs is the head coach for the men’s basketball team in Tokyo. Popovich admitted that going into the 2021 Olympics was a very different experience as there was no clarity over the team. As a team, they have had very little training or practice games in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics but still remain a big betting favorite.