Bradley Beal of Team USA basketball to miss Tokyo Olympics, Jerami Grant enters protocols

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ESPN 15 July, 2021 - 01:46pm 34 views

When does Olympic basketball start?

The Olympics are set to start on July 23 in Tokyo. The group stage of the Olympic basketball tournament will run from July 25 to Aug. 1, and the knockout stage will run from Aug. 3-7. CBSSports.com2020 Tokyo Olympics: Men's Basketball Tournament TV schedule, live stream, start times, group standings

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, the face of Team USA, is just chilling in his hotel suite at Aria Resort & Casino.

“I’m doing fine, myself,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “I haven’t really left my room with the health and safety protocols we’re following. Not really watching much [NBA Finals] basketball. I’m just out here to hoop, stay safe and get better. The s*** people are saying doesn’t bother me. It’s all about context.”

Team USA lost a shocker to Nigeria 90-87 in the friendly opener on Saturday and followed that up with a 91-83 stunning loss to Australia two days later. Before facing Nigeria, Team USA was 54-2 in exhibitions since 1992.

They were finally able to get off the schneid on Tuesday in routing Argentina 108-80.

Head coach Gregg Popovich has only been able to muster up a little under a handful of practices since training camp began last week. Durant said the reason he’s unfazed by the slow start is because he knew what the team would be up against once camp kicked off.

“We’re a team that’s still coming together and trying to find our identity,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “We have so many great players that you can play so many different ways, and we are indecisive at times on defense and offense. In the midst of us figuring it out, these teams are established and they’re running their sets. We’re working on our sets. The stars were kind of aligned for us to lose early on.”

There's the argument that with the abundance of talent on Team USA, and regardless of the lack in preparation time, these shortcomings shouldn’t be materializing.

Durant noted that the context was important.

“It’s easy to say that after two losses without any context,” Durant tells Yahoo Sports. “Let's just go down the roster of each team and you can find the answer. If you’re looking for NBA talent, those teams have it. Understand where we’re at as a team and then you can make assumptions for yourself. We do have all the best players in the league, but these national teams have NBA players, too, who are now No. 1 options and they’re used to playing that role internationally. We’re still adjusting as a team, and that’s not making excuses. There's a lot of context people need to understand. We didn’t expect to lose a game, but losing games happen. We’ll get it right.”

If they are to find continuity, it won’t be in the form of team gatherings in Las Vegas. Players for the most part, with the exception of a few, have been spending the bulk of their downtime with family and friends.

“Whether we know each other or not, our jobs are on the basketball court,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “All that extra s*** about bonding and all that other stuff is cool, but you win games by playing and performing well. That’s my focus. We just got to take the court ready to work. We’re looking at going through a real progression as a team. We’re not looking at it like we’re going to come out here and blow everybody out. We know it’s going to be a grind, and that’s fine. It's a competition.”

The Brooklyn Nets superstar being here is a miracle in itself after returning from a gruesome Achilles tear that cost him the entire 2019-20 season. Durant almost single-handedly advanced the Nets to the Eastern Conference finals.

Coming off of an injury like that, along with the workload he adopted late in the playoffs, he said there was never a doubt he wouldn’t be joining the Olympic squad if he was healthy enough.

“I just feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life,” he told Yahoo Sports. “What the f*** am I supposed to do? I didn’t need anybody to motivate me to play for my country. If I needed that, I wouldn't be here.”

Team USA has two more exhibition games to play in Las Vegas before leaving for Tokyo next week, vs. Australia on July 16 and vs. Spain on July 18. Durant and company will have a chance to prove that they’re a better team than they were a week ago.

This Olympic go-around, the gold will not be as attainable as it has been for previous USA teams, although BetMGM still has them listed as the gold medal favorite (-400). But it’s a fight Durant says they’re up for accepting.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and we’re prepared to go to work,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “Our goal [of winning gold] hasn't changed. We'll be ready.”

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GUELPH, Ont. — Former NFL receiver Martavis Bryant remains a no-show at the Toronto Argonauts training camp. The Argos placed Bryant on the suspended list Saturday, the same day they opened camp at the University of Guelph. Head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said at the time the move was made because Bryant was dealing with passport issues. On Thursday, Dinwiddie told reporters he's starting to get a little impatient waiting on Bryant. "We've had some contact with him," Dinwiddie said. "We need to get hi

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Kevin Durant Fires Back At Team USA Haters After Brutal Losses

ClutchPoints 15 July, 2021 - 02:12pm

Team USA suffered two brutal losses to Nigeria and Australia to start their exhibition slate before finally getting a win against Argentina. Star Kevin Durant told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes he isn’t concerned about the early struggles and that “the s*** people are saying doesn’t bother” him.

Durant thinks the losses need to be placed in the proper context. While Team USA didn’t actually expect to lose these games, KD says there are perfectly reasonable explanations for these early struggles ahead of the Olympics:

“We’re a team that’s still coming together and trying to find our identity,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “We have so many great players that you can play so many different ways, and we are indecisive at times on defense and offense. In the midst of us figuring it out, these teams are established and they’re running their sets. We’re working on our sets. The stars were kind of aligned for us to lose early on.”

Durant is confident that Team USA will figure things out in time:

“It’s easy to say that after two losses without any context,” Durant tells Yahoo Sports. “Let’s just go down the roster of each team and you can find the answer. If you’re looking for NBA talent, those teams have it. Understand where we’re at as a team and then you can make assumptions for yourself. We do have all the best players in the league, but these national teams have NBA players, too, who are now No. 1 options and they’re used to playing that role internationally. We’re still adjusting as a team, and that’s not making excuses. There’s a lot of context people need to understand. We didn’t expect to lose a game, but losing games happen. We’ll get it right.”

There’s a good chance this turns out to be correct, but Team USA facing more adversity than just some early exhibition struggles on the court. Bradley Beal is going to miss the Olympics because of health and safety protocols, and Jerami Grant just entered the protocols as well. 

Either way, Kevin Durant is going to have to be the star of the show to lead the Americans to a fourth straight gold medal. There’s still plenty of talent on this roster, and they’ll be tough to beat if they start clicking.

Copyright © ClutchPoints. Partner of iOne Digital / Cassius Network.

Team USA's Most Iconic Olympic Outfits Throughout the Years Are Pure Gold

POPSUGAR 14 July, 2021 - 05:35pm

Even when we don't have to wait a full extra year on the edge of our seats, the Olympics always manage to bring out roaring emotions, team pride, and some truly enviable fashion looks. Although the focus largely remains on athletic prowess, the Olympic ceremonies also provide a platform for some of the greatest athletes and designers to represent their country, make a statement, and show off parts of their culture. Granted, it can be easy to lose sight of the clothing when it's hidden beneath tall plumes of fireworks and flashing lights, so to make it easier, we've compiled some of Team USA's best outfits throughout the history of the games. Read on to check out some of the most iconic and timeless moments in USA fashion, and see just how much the team's personal style has evolved over the years.

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