USA Basketball's Bradley Beal to miss Olympics due to COVID protocols
USA Basketball announced Thursday that Bradley Beal will miss the Tokyo Olympics after being placed under coronavirus health and safety protocols.
Why it matters: Though the team has time to replace Beal, it's not necessarily an easy task. The Olympic players have been conditioning for the games and working on team building, complicating the search for a last-minute addition, according to the Washington Post.
- “ [I]f somebody's coming in kind of blind and if they're out of shape, you're not sure how much they can help,” Coach Gregg Popovich said, per the Post. “It's going to take a certain individual that we think can pick it all up quickly.”
- Team USA is scheduled to travel to Tokyo on Monday.
The big picture: Beal entered health and safety protocols Wednesday at a training camp in Las Vegas.
- USA Basketball also confirmed that teammate Jerami Grant has also been placed under coronavirus safety protocols "out of an abundance of caution," though he has not tested positive for COVID-19, according to The Athletic.
- Popovich "expressed optimism" that Grant would be able to remain on the team, ESPN reports.
Of note: ESPN reported Thursday that the team's Friday exhibition game against Australia might be cancelled.
- "Our goal overall is we're trying to get everybody safely to Tokyo and at the same time prepare a basketball team to be successful," Popovich said, per ESPN.