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Bradley Beal. Photo: Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

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.

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2021 - Sports

NHL announces all but four players have been vaccinated against COVID-19

A vaccinated section of fans at a New York Islanders game. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL announced in a press release on Wednesday that all but four players are vaccinated.

The big picture: With only four out of more than 700 players unvaccinated this season, the NHL has a 99% vaccination rate, according to NPR.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.