Team USA Basketball Loses Bradley Beal, Kevin Love Ahead Of Tokyo Olympics


Team USA Basketball is off to a brutal start as they prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.

On Thursday, Bradley Beal — placed in COVID health and safety protocols the day before — was ruled out of the Olympics. Earlier in the week, Beal said it had been a dream of his since he was a child to play for the Olympic team.

“I’m dying for [Beal]. We all are,” head coach Gregg Popovich said. “Since he was a little kid, this has been a dream of his, and he was playing great. … For him and his immediate family, it’s devastating. We just feel horrible about it.”

Team USA’s game against Australia on Friday has also been canceled “out of an abundance of caution.” The Olympic team is 1-2 in exhibition games, losing back-to-back exhibition games for the first time since the United States began sending professionals to the Olympics in 1993.

On Friday, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love withdrew from Team USA as he attempts to recover from a right calf injury that kept him out for a good portion of the NBA season.

“I am incredibly disappointed to not be heading to Tokyo with Team USA, but you need to be at absolute peak performance to compete at the Olympic level and I am just not there yet,” Love said in a statement through his agent Jeff Schwartz.

Love’s selection to the roster was a hotly debated topic, with many questioning his addition considering he was coming off the worst season of his career.

ESPN analyst Jalen Rose went so far as to call Love’s selection “tokenism” on his show “Jalen & Jacoby.”

“Kevin Love is on the team because of tokenism,” Rose said in June. “Don’t be scared to make an all-black team representing the United States of America. I’m disappointed by that.”

“Anybody that watched the league this year knows Kevin Love did not have a stellar season, was not the best player on his team, and did not necessarily deserve to be on this squad.”

Rose did issue an apology for his remarks, though it wasn’t much of one.

“But you know why I’m apologizing right now? To the game. Because I’m what the game made me,” Rose said. “I was raised by the all-time greats and you know what I would never want to do? Disappoint [Rose’s late mother] Jeanie Rose or disappoint the all-time greats that raised me.”

USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo said Love made the team due to his previous international experience.

“Jerry Colangelo says Kevin Love made the USA team due to his versatility, ability to rebound and score and his previous USA Basketball experience,” NBA reporter Marc Spears said. “Sounds like Colangelo believes that Love has also accepted a reserve role, too.”

Team USA is now tasked with finding replacements for Beal and Love, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the team has already made their decision on which players will be heading to Tokyo.

“Keldon Johnson and JaVale McGee will replace Bradley Beal and Kevin Love on Team USA’s roster for the Olympics, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski said. “McGee will travel to Las Vegas to join team on Saturday.”

Johnson and Popovich are familiar, as Johnson plays for Popovich in San Antonio. McGee finished last season with the Denver Nuggets.

Team USA is scheduled to depart for Japan on Monday.

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected]

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