Eight NBA players are known to have committed to Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics this summer:
- Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard
- Nets guard James Harden
- Suns guard Devin Booker
- Wizards guard Bradley Beal
- Celtics forward Jayson Tatum
- Nets forward Kevin Durant
- Warriors forward Draymond Green
- Heat center Bam Adebayo
Only Booker is still alive in the playoffs. And the way he’s playing, Phoenix looks likely to advance to the NBA Finals.
Which is why his commitment to Team USA was viewed as conditional.
Most assumed he’d politely bow out if the Suns went too far. The timeline just appeared too tight. The NBA Finals will end between July 14 and July 22. The U.S. men’s basketball team is scheduled to play its first game in Japan on July 25.
But Booker is truly dedicated to going to Tokyo.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo, via Joe Vardon of The Athletic:
“I’ll tell you this about Devin, he said to me, ‘Even if we (the Suns) go all the way in the Finals and I only have three days to get to Tokyo, I’ll be there,’” Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo told The Athletic.
This plan brings Booker full circle. When Booker skipped the 2019 World Cup, Bill Simmons infamously criticized him:
I hope Devin Booker is watching this OT game before his intense workout with some 5’9 trainer who just keeps feeding him uncontested threes. Cuz that’s a better way to prepare for the season.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) September 3, 2019
Booker – by his NBA play and plan to play in the Olympics – has proven his dedication.