Gregg Popovich prepared for soul-searching in filling out the USA Olympic team

2020-12-02T14:13:25+00:00 2020-12-02T14:13:25+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

02/Dec/20 14:13

Gregg Popovich acknowledges challenges in presenting the best-possible USA team for the Olympic Games

By Johnny Askounis/

All national teams to play in the Olympic Games will likely go through several unique situations, including NBA players possibly forced for a quick turnaround from the conclusion of the Regular Season to the Olympics. No exceptions for Team USA, as Gregg Popovich admits.

“I don’t think we’re going to let the finals go seven games,” he said jokingly, relays the Associated Press (AP).

According to the current NBA schedule, Game 7 would be played on July 22. The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics postponed to this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic is planned to take place the next day. However, nothing can be set in stone at the moment.

The challenge acknowledged by Popovich is making out the best-possible 12-man squad for the Olympic Games. Taking into consideration potential additional issues brought by the coronavirus or further date adjustments just adds complications all over.

“The Olympics is always on my mind, just as Coach K told me it would be,” pointed out Popovich, “You can’t get away from it. So, this scenario, as it stands right now, does seem problematic in the sense that organizing things and figuring out who’s going to be part of the team is yet to be determined.”

As of now, the plan is to name 40 or 50 players to a pre-selection squad in early 2021 in the first step towards narrowing down to a 12-man squad for the Tokyo Olympics.

“The timing does make everything difficult,” said Popovich, “And it will demand some real soul-searching and out-of-the-box type of thinking to put together the best team we possibly can.”

Prior to the Olympic Tournament, four more spots will be awarded to the winners of each group of the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. Those games are scheduled to be held between June 22 and July 4.