It's a different kind of NBA summer league.
Team USA men's basketball is usually one of the highlights of the Olympic games, and this year's squad has been in for a longer wait than usual. With the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo postponed and being held in 2021, hoopers from around the Association — over 50 in total — are waiting to see if their names will be called for the USA Basketball Men's National Team.
This year, though, will be without some superstars once again: Lakers star LeBron James is expected to sit out this year's Olympics, along with teammate Anthony Davis.
Here's what we know about this year's roster:
Who is playing on Team USA basketball?
The roster for the 2021 Summer Olympics is starting to take shape. In March, finalists for this year's USMNT were unveiled, with 57 players from across the NBA thrown into the pool. The official 12-man team who will take the court in Tokyo this summer will be announced later.
On June 21, Warriors guard Steph Curry withdrew his name from consideration for Team USA.
With LeBron James and Anthony Davis out, here's the official 12-man roster for this year's Tokyo Olympics:
Team USA's 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2021
- Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
- Devin Booker, Suns
- Draymond Green, Warriors
- Jayson Tatum, Celtics
- Kevin Durant, Nets
- Kevin Love, Cavaliers
- Khris Middleton, Bucks
- Jrue Holiday, Bucks
- Bradley Beal, Wizards
- Bam Adebyao, Heat
- Jerami Grant, Pistons
- Zach LaVine, Bulls
- Chris Paul, Suns
- Stephen Curry, Warriors
- LeBron James, Lakers
- Anthony Davis, Lakers
- James Harden, Nets
Will LeBron James play in the Olympics?
The NBA veteran is reportedly not expected to play in this year's summer Olympics.
James is set to star this summer — but on the silver screen, not the court. After the Lakers were eliminated in the playoffs by the Suns in their first-round matchup, James used his post-game press conference to promote "Space Jam 2" and let it be known that he's not planning on making a return to the USA Basketball Men's National Team in Tokyo:
"Nah, I think I'm gonna play for the Tune Squad this summer instead of the Olympics."— ESPN (@espn) June 4, 2021
LeBron had jokes to end his presser 😂 pic.twitter.com/SR7H1fF5cN
The 36-year-old James was hobbled by an ankle injury that forced him to miss the majority of the 2020-21 NBA season, taking the court in the playoffs while still recovering from the injury. James said he plans to take the summer off to get his ankle right.
Per The Athletic's Joe Vardon, not only is James expected to miss this year's Olympics, but Lakers teammate Anthony Davis won't be making an appearance for the team, either.
James, member of the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams, is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner.
Will Stephen Curry play in the Olympics?
Curry reportedly will pass on the opportunity to go to Tokyo, as first reported by Shams Charania. Warriors coach Steve Kerr explained why it makes more sense for Curry to rest instead of playing for Team USA.
"Steph and I talked, Draymond [Green] and I talked," Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area. "I think it makes perfect sense, actually. Steph has so many demands on his time. He has to play so hard for so much of the season. He's 180 pounds. He's . He needs rest. I'm happy for Steph that he's going to get plenty of rest and family time this summer and he'll be ready to go come training camp in September."