Nevada alumnus JaVale McGee is replacing Kevin Love on Team USA roster
The USA Basketball Men’s National Team wrapped up its pre-Olympic training camp in Las Vegas with two wins and two loses through exhibition games. The Americans recently had to do some roster adjustments, with one of the latest additions being Nevada alumnus JaVale McGee (2006-08).
McGee was a finalist for the Olympic team in March but was eventually cut. He got offered the opportunity to join last week after Kevin Love needed to withdraw to recover from a calf injury.
“We decided hat was the most logical and appropriate choice, given the choices we had, that he fit the best,” said head coach Gregg Popovich on Sunday when asked about McGee.
McGee has three NBA championship rings and is now following his mother’s footsteps by chasing an Olympic medal. Pamela McGee became an Olympic gold medalist in 1984 at the Los Angeles Games.
San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson is also a new addition to the team. He is replacing Bradley Beal, who is out due to health and safety protocols.
Johnson showed why he deserved his spot on Sunday when he added 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting to help Team USA beat Spain 83-76. McGee, who arrived on Saturday, did not see any playing time. Although the Denver Nuggets center sat on the bench for that one, he will likely be an important part of the game plan when the Americans officially start the Olympic games.
The first opponent Team USA will face at the Tokyo Olympics is France, a team that is considered one of the strongest in the competition. The French count with a lot of talent, including the 2020-21 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert. He has made the All-NBA Defensive First Team every year since 2017.
Gobert is 7’1 tall with a 7’9 wingspan, so it makes sense for the Americans to put McGee against him. The 7’0 Denver Nuggets center has a 7’6 wingspan and will be the biggest guy on the Team USA roster.
The Americans will also be getting more weapons once the NBA Finals conclude. Forward Khris Middleton and guard Jrue Holiday from the Milwauke Bucks will be joining, along with Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker.
- Game 1, July 10: Nigeria 90, USA 87
- Game 2, July 12: Australia 91, USA 83
- Game 3, July 13: USA 108, Argentina 80
- Game 4, July 16: Game against Australia canceled
- Game 5, July 18: USA 83, Spain 76
Tokyo Olympics Men’s Basketball Schedule:
- July 25, 8:00 a.m. EDT – USA Men vs France (Saitama, Japan)
- July 28, 12:40 a.m. EDT – USA Men vs Iran (Saitama, Japan)
- July 31, 8:00 am EDT – USA Men vs TBD (Saitama, Japan)
- August 3 – Men’s Quarterfinals (Saitama, Japan)
- August 5 – Men’s Semifinals (Saitama, Japan)
- August 6 – Men’s Gold Medal Game (Saitama, Japan)
- August 7 – Men’s Bronze Medal Game (Saitama, Japan)