Former Wolf Pack center JaVale McGee could play his first Olympic game on Sunday.
Here is what you need to know about Team USA’s matchup against France.
Team USA will tip off its Olympic journey in Group A by taking on a strong French team on Sunday morning. The Americans saw some struggles during their training camp in Las Vegas, but they are still the favorites to win it all.
How to Watch:
USA vs France
Date: Sunday, July 25 | Time: 8 a.m. ET
Location: Saitama Super Arena — Saitama, Japan
Watch: Peacock, NBCOlympics.com, NBC (4 p.m. ET)
The opening round will be live on Peacock, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App. The games will also be tape delayed on NBC, USA Network and NBCSN.
Their most recent meeting was during the 2019 FIBA World Cup quarterfinals. France took a 89-79 victory and snapped the Americans’ streak of 58 straight wins in international competition. The French ended up winning the Bronze medal that year.
Team USA is 6-0 against France in the Olympics.
Head Coach: Gregg Popovich
- Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
- Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
- Jerami Grant (Detroit Pistons)
- Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
- Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Keldon Johnson (San Antonio Spurs)
- Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls)
- Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
- JaVale McGee (Denver Nuggets)
- Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Team USA has not lost a game in the Olympics since 2004. The Americans have won three consecutive gold medals at the Summer Olympics and are considered the favorites again this year.
Earlier this month, they didn’t look as strong as expected and took losses in exhibition games against Nigeria and Australia. However, they left training camp on a high note with wins against Argentina and Spain.
Team USA has some talented pieces but did not have a lot of time to fully work on chemistry. Right before their last exhibition game, Bradley Beal (COVID-19 health and safety protocols) and Kevin Love (calf injury) left the team. They were replaced with Keldon Johnson and JaVale McGee.
Due to the NBA Finals taking place at the same time as training camp, the team also had to wait for Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Devin Booker to finish up and join the team later. All three are expected to be available for Sunday’s game.
Johnson was part of the Select Team so he was already working out in Las Vegas. He was on the court for 18 minutes against Spain and recorded 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Meanwhile, JaVale McGee stayed on the bench.
McGee was a finalist to join the team in March, but he did not make the final cut. Many wondered what came into the decision of choosing McGee over other players like Julius Randle. Per Marc Berman from The New York Post, the team was looking for more role players.
McGee has three NBA Championship rings and currently plays for Denver, although he is not part of the Nuggets’ starting five. He is not expected to play much, but at 7’0 with a 7’6 wingspan, McGee will add size to Team USA and could be used against France’s Rudy Gobert. If the Americans decide to play small, they’ll likely go with Kevin Durant.
“It means everything,” McGee said when asked what it meant to have the chance to with an Olympic medal. “Adding that to my resume would be a great accomplishment for me. Also adding that to the legacy of my family, the McGee family.”
His mom, Pamela McGee, became an Olympic gold medalist in 1984 at the Los Angeles Games.
- Andrew Albicy
- Nicolas Batum (Los Angeles Clippers)
- Nando De Colo
- Moustapha Fall
- Evan Fournier (Boston Celtics)
- Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
- Thomas Heurtel
- Timothy Luwawu-Cabarrot (Brooklyn Nets)
- Amath M’Baye
- Frank Ntilikina (New York Knicks)
- Vincent Poirier (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Guerschon Yabusele
The French are looking for their first gold medal at the Olympics. The team has won silver twice (1948 and 2000).
They count with a lot of talented players including NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. Celtics’ Evan Fournier and Clippers’ Nic Batum are two other players who are expected to make a big impact.
Like Team USA, France didn’t exactly cruise through exhibition games. The French fell twice to Spain and once against Japan. The Americans are the favorites to win Sunday’s game, but France does have the pieces for a potential upset.