Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson are among 60 NBA players who are in the mix to make the Team USA men’s basketball team for the 2021 Olympics, which were delayed a year due to the coronavirus.
NEW: Three Miami Heat players among 60 or so in mix to make the U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo this summer, per sources: https://t.co/FpQFLDZZok— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 23, 2021
This year’s Olympics will pose several problems for NBA players. The Olympics are scheduled to begin July 23, while the NBA Finals could end as late as July 22. Moreover, the Miami Heat have just come off a historically short off-season — ending the 2020 Finals in October before starting the 2020-21 season in December. Is participating in the 2021 Olympics really a good idea, especially for the 31-year-old Butler?
After the Miami Heat won the 2012 championship, both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh withdrew from the Olympic team. Bosh had suffered an abdominal injury in the second round of the playoffs that year and only returned in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Of the three players, Adebayo might be the hungriest to play on the 2021 Olympic stage. Gregg Popovich cut him from the 2019 FIBA World Cup team, telling him that he wasn’t ready. Of course, Adebayo took that snub from the team and made his first All-Star appearance, made the All-NBA Defensive Second Team and was the runner-up in the Most Improved Player category.