Team USA was dealt an unfortunate blow this Thursday afternoon. It was officially announced that Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal will miss the Tokyo Olympics because he remains in health and safety protocols.
A replacement for Beal will be named at a later time. Fortunately for Team USA, reinforcements will be on their way soon in the form of Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton.
Although there are ways that Team USA can overcome the loss of Beal, head coach Gregg Popovich doesn’t want to dismiss how disappointing this news is for Beal and the rest of the team.
“I’m dying for him. We all are,” Popovich told reporters. “Since he was a little kid, this has been a dream of his. He was playing great. He was having fun being a big part of us coming together chemistry-wise. It’s devastating.”
Gregg Popovich on Bradley Beal missing the Olympics: "I’m dying for him. We all are. Since he was a little kid, this has been a dream of his. He was playing great. He was having fun being a big part of us coming together chemistry-wise. … It’s devastating."
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 15, 2021
Beal has developed into one of the best scorers in the NBA. This past season, he averaged 31.3 points per game for the Wizards.
Representing the national team at the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most athletes, so we’d imagine Beal is frustrated that he won’t be able to suit up for Team USA later this month.
To make matters worse, Beal was expected to play a large role on this year’s team. He had 17 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal in 30 minutes against Argentina on Tuesday night.