USA Basketball’s quest for a fourth straight men’s basketball gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics hasn’t gotten off to the best start, as Team USA lost its first two exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia before finally righting the ship against Argentina on Tuesday night. There was the obvious caveat for the Americans that they were without three members of the Olympic roster, as Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Devin Booker are all currently playing in the NBA Finals.
Those three will join the squad once either the Bucks or Suns have won the NBA championship, but it’s possible that another player might have to be added to the fold. On Wednesday night, Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic broke news that Bradley Beal had entered health and safety protocols (with no word on the specifics of what that exactly means), leaving his status for the Tokyo Games in question.
Wizards star Bradley Beal has entered health and safety protocols at Team USA camp, placing his return to play status up in the air, sources tell me and @joevardon.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 15, 2021
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press confirmed that report, while making sure to note nothing is definitive regarding his status for Tokyo.
AP source: USA Basketball guard Bradley Beal has entered the health and safety protocols in Las Vegas, raising the possibility that he may not be able to attend the Tokyo Games. There is nothing definitive about that at this point.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) July 15, 2021
Losing Beal would obviously be a significant blow for Team USA, particularly since the three guards coming in from the Finals will have missed camp and will be on tired legs as they arrive to the team. For Beal, it would be a gutting way to miss the Olympics, as he spoke with us recently about how excited and honored he was to join such an elite group who have played on the USA Olympic roster. Hopefully he is able to clear protocols and produce the needed negative tests to rejoin the team and make the trip to Tokyo, but it’s an unfortunate situation that will have to be monitored over the next week-plus.