Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reportedly in to play for USA Basketball at Tokyo Olympics


Portland guard Damian Lillard has told USA Basketball officials that he will play for the national team in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, according to multiple reports.

USA Basketball plans on selecting its team in the coming weeks, then bringing the group to Las Vegas for a training camp that begins July 6.

Lillard has not previously played in the Olympics.

He averaged 28.8 points this season, and is one of only two players — LeBron James is the other — to average at least 25 points per game in each of the last six seasons. James said when the Los Angeles Lakers‘ season ended that he was not playing in the Olympics this summer, partly because his film “Space Jam: A New Legacy” is coming out next month.

The hope for USA Basketball has been to finalize its men’s roster around the end of June. San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich will coach the team, assisted by Golden State coach Steve Kerr, Villanova coach Jay Wright and former Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce.

The U.S. men are seeking a fourth consecutive gold medal. USA Basketball announced a pool of 57 candidates earlier this year; many of them have said in recent weeks they are weighing their options.

Miami’s Jimmy Butler, a 2016 gold medalist, has decided not to play this summer. Golden State’s Draymond Green, who was on that team, has said for two years that he is strongly interested in playing, and 2019 U.S. World Cup team veteran Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics is also leaning toward participating this summer.

The news of Lillard’s decision was first reported by The Athletic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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