Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, and USA Basketball are in a rough situation right now. With COVID-19 impacting the entire world, there’s a chance that the Tokyo Olympics this summer will be postponed, even if the IOC has made it clear that it wants to avoid doing that. There’s also the delicate situation of the NBA currently having the season under suspension while the virus impacts the United States. The NBA could choose to continue the season during the summer, which would make building a roster tricky and having a coach even trickier — outside of Villanova head coach Jay Wright, who is an assistant, the entire staff is made up of NBA coaches.
Despite all of this, Steve Kerr made it clear that himself, Popovich, and the rest of the coaching staff are preparing like they’re going to be busy this summer. Via ESPN:
“Pop and I have spoken a couple of times over the last week or so,” Kerr said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters. “And everything’s just up in the air. There’s no sense of whether things are going to be delayed or anything. We’re all kind of sitting here wondering what’s going to happen, and so is the rest of the world. We’re just going to plan as if this is going to happen, and we’re going to try and put together a roster, and that’s all we can do.”
This is, of course, assuming players still want to play in the Olympics after everything has blown over and the world has returned to a sense of normalcy, which also assumes things will be back to normal by then. When Team USA was trying to get players to join them for the World Cup, there was a surprising lack of interest among players. As a result, the team had one of their worst showings in an international tournament ever when they finished seventh.
The expectation was that a number of stars would show more of an interest this time around since it’s the Olympics, something that plenty of players have expressed. Now, it remains to be seen if that will end up being the case.