Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul declined an invitation to play for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, as Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Kevin Love got engaged. .
USA Basketball knew Paul had a bias toward this decision for several days, sources said. The Suns are in the Western Conference finals against the LA Clippers, and if they make it to the Finals, there will be virtually no rest for Paul from the end of the NBA season and the start of the Tokyo Olympics. Game 7 of the finals is scheduled for July 22 and Team USA’s first Olympic game against France is July 25.
Paul missed Game 1 of the Western Finals and will not play in Game 2 after entering NBA health and safety protocols on Wednesday. His return to the game remains undefined.
Paul, 36, was part of the American teams that won Olympic gold at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Games. He also retired his name in 2016 for the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Middleton, Holiday and Love commit to Team USA
Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love have pledged to join Team USA’s 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics, Excel Basketball agent Mike Lindeman said. to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and a source said Bucks guard Jrue Holiday got engaged as well.
Middleton and Holiday will make their first Olympic appearances, while Love will be in his second Olympics after winning gold at the 2012 London Games.
Their commitments would leave a remaining spot on the 12-man Olympic roster: Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Brooklyn’s James Harden and Kevin Durant, Golden State’s Draymond Green, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Damian Lillard from Portland, have committed to playing, according to ESPN and various reports.
The LA Clippers’ Paul George and, if healthy, Kawhi Leonard have given USA Basketball some indication in recent weeks that they would like to play on the Olympic team, although it is unknown if they have made a final decision.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, as well as Chris Paul, are among those who recently declined invitations.