Covid-19 Is Playing Havoc With The Us Men’s Basketball Team’s Preparations Ahead Of The Tokyo Olympics

       

On Thursday evening USA Basketball announced the cancellation of the tune-up game against Australia scheduled for Friday due to concerns about a coronavirus outbreak within the US team.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the USA Men’s National Team exhibition versus Australia on Friday has been cancelled,” USA Basketball posted on their Twitter account late on Thursday.

As things stand the US men’s game against Spain will go ahead on Sunday as scheduled.The women’s game between the US and Australia has not been affected and will also go ahead on Friday as scheduled.

The Australian team is under even stricter health and safety protocols than their US counterparts, which might have played a part in the cancellation of Friday’s game, according to ESPN sources.

“Our goal overall is we’re trying to get everybody safely to Tokyo,” US men’s coach Gregg Popovich said, “and at the same time prepare a basketball team to be successful. We’re trying to be vigilant about what we do, where we go.”

Bradley Beal, who was placed under USA Basketball’s health & safety protocols on Wednesday, will remain in protocol & will be unable to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The announcement followed confirmation that Washington Wizards player Bradley Beal would miss the Olympics after testing positive for coronavirus.

Beal has been placed under health and safety protocols, while team mate Jerami Grant is also following protocols despite returning a negative test. Grant, however, is expected to return to availability for the team in Tokyo.

It has been a peculiar period of warm-up games for the US team, who suffered shocking back-to-back defeats against Nigeria and Australia, before setting things right with a win over Argentina.

Popovich will hope to record a second consecutive victory against Spain before the team fly out to Tokyo on Monday.

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