Basketball has been a fixture at the Olympics since 1936 when the first men’s tournament was held. Women’s basketball was added in 1976 and has been held in every Olympics since.
The United States has ruled basketball at the Olympics since the sport was first introduced. The Team USA men have won 15 of the 18 tournaments they have competed in, while the women have won eight of the 10 tournaments they’ve entered.
Team USA’s men’s roster has just two players in Tokyo with prior Olympic experience and the team dropped its opening game to France in stunning fashion before bouncing back against Iran, the Czech Republic and Spain, so the U.S. has work to do to continue its historic run in Tokyo.
Here’s everything you need to know for men’s basketball at the Tokyo Olympics:
What is the TV schedule for men’s basketball at the Tokyo Olympics?
Tokyo Olympics basketball games will be aired on NBC and NBC-affiliated channels, including NBCSN, the Olympic Channel, Peacock and NBCOlympics.com.
NBC Olympics’ full viewing schedule lists more than 5,000 of content by channel and sport.
Watch all the action from the Tokyo Olympics live on NBC
What is Team USA’s basketball schedule at the Tokyo Olympics?
Team USA was placed in Group A for the preliminary games, along with Czech Republic, France and Iran. Each team played each other once with the top two teams automatically advancing to the knockout stage.
After being Spain in the quarterfinals, Team USA will now play Australia in the semifinals. Tipoff is at 12:15 a.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 5.
Eight teams advanced to the knockout stage. The semifinals will be played on Aug. 5. The gold medal game will tip at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 6, and the bronze medal game is set for Saturday, Aug. 7, at 7 a.m. ET.
Who is on the USA Olympic basketball team in 2021?
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant headlines Team USA’s 12-man roster in Tokyo as he aims for his third consecutive gold medal. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (2016) rejoins Team USA for his second Olympic appearance.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine are making their Olympic debuts after making the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in March.
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton are among the former All-Stars who fill out the roster. Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant also made the roster following his breakout season where he was a Most Improved Player award finalist. The final two roster spots belong to Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee and San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson, who were added in July as replacements for Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Cavaliers forward Kevin Love.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is serving as the head coach at the Olympics for the first time. Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski led the team at the Olympics in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Villanova coach Jay Wright and Pacers assistant Lloyd Pierce are serving as assistant coaches under Popovich.
Which NBA players are competing in the Tokyo Olympics?
Team USA is the only squad with 12 NBA players on the roster, but there are still a number of other NBA players competing. Eleven of the 12 countries playing have at least one NBA player, with Iran being the only nation without one.
Here’s a look at the NBA players competing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021:
- Facundo Campazzo (Nuggets), Luca Vildoza (Knicks), Gabriel Deck (Thunder)
- Czech Republic
- Tomas Satoransky (Bulls)
- Nicolas Batum (Clippers), Evan Fournier (Celtics), Rudy Gobert (Jazz), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (Nets), Frank Ntilikina (Knicks)
- Isaac Bonga (Wizards), Moritz Wagner (Magic)
- Nico Mannion (Warriors), Nicolo Melli (Mavericks)
- Rui Hachimura (Wizards), Yuta Watanabe (Raptors)
- Precious Achiuwa (Heat), KZ Okpala (Heat), Miye Oni (Jazz), Josh Okogie (Timberwolves), Jordan Nwora (Bucks), Chimezie Metu (Kings), Jahlil Okafor (Pistons), Gabe Vincent (Heat)
- Luka Doncic (Mavericks), Vlatko Cancar (Nuggets)
- Willy Hernangomez (Pelicans), Ricky Rubio (Timberwolves), Marc Gasol (Lakers)
Which country is the biggest threat to Team USA in men’s basketball?
It’s not often that Team USA loses during men’s basketball at the Olympics. Since allowing NBA players to compete in 1992 on the Dream Team, America has won six of seven gold medals and lost just three games (all in 2004) prior to its opening defeat against France. Team USA had won its last 25 Olympic men’s basketball games dating back to 2004 when it lost to Argentina in the knockout stage semifinals.
The U.S. men’s basketball team is currently ranked No. 1 in the FIBA World Ranking, but Australia, its next opponent, is ranked No. 3.
Australia has the third-most NBA players (seven) of any team behind the U.S. (12) and Nigeria (eight). It could’ve been even more had Ben Simmons opted to play, but the team is still full of professional talent. Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles was a finalist for Sixth Man of the Year this season while Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle was named to the All-Defensive Second Team. San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills was the leading scorer at the 2012 London Olympics with 21.2 points per game.