Can the NBA season coincide with the Olympic games?
After some initial uncertainty about when the Tokyo Olympics will be held, the international Olympic Committee announced that the Games will begin on July 23, 2021 – almost exactly a year after they were supposed to open.
This statement was a relief for American basketball, since the original option of postponing the games was to start in June. This option did not suit the NBA and the US national team, since even with the best deals, the season would have ended in the first days of June. Jerry Colangelo, the Manager of the US national basketball team, immediately expressed the position of the League and the national team that the games in Tokyo should be postponed for exactly one year.
In a normal year, this would mean that the NBA season would not be in danger of getting on the Olympic schedule. Uncertainty about the end of the 2019/2020 season may affect the 2020/2021 season. The League has not yet made any decisions about the end date of this season, so there is a high probability that the 2020-2021 season will start later. In this case, the Olympics and the NBA season will intersect.
Is it possible that the NBA won’t send its best players to the Olympics?
Yes. Even if the schedule of the NBA and the Olympic games will not directly overlap, do not forget about the physical shape of the players. Many of them face a grueling 12-15 month stretch that will include the rest of the 2019/2020 season, the 2020-2021 regular season, and the playoffs.
Such an intense schedule can affect the interest of a large number of League stars. For example, Chris Paul will be 36 years old, Curry – 33, James Harden and Russell Westbrook will be 32 years old in the fall of 2021, and Kevin Durant will be almost 33.
On the other hand, the star youth of the League will have a great opportunity to prove themselves in games for the national team. In a normal situation, players like ja Morant, Trey young, De’aaron Fox and Zion Williamson would be unlikely to be among the 12 basketball players defending the country’s pride at the Olympics. And now they have a real chance to perform in Tokyo.
The University basketball calendar probably won’t change. The NCAA has already canceled the current season, and the next one is going to start as planned. Therefore, it is even possible that we will see some of the best players in the student League.
Which countries will benefit from the transfer? Which countries might be affected?
The canadian team that has not yet qualified for the Olympic games may benefit from the postponement. The Canadians were supposed to participate in a qualifying tournament in June, which they would most likely have won. But this tournament was canceled due to a coronavirus. In this scenario, the remaining Olympic spots would have been allocated according to the FIBA world ranking, and Canada, currently ranked 21st, would not have qualified. Due to the fact that the tournament was simply postponed for one calendar year, Canada will get its opportunity to qualify for the Olympic games.
In addition, the canadian national team will have several useful players, such as Tristan Thompson and Dwight Powell, who could not participate this year.
One of the teams that may be affected is Australia. As a contender for the first ever medal, the Australians have a fairly age-old team led by veteran Andrew Bogut, Patty mills and Matthew Dellaveda. As a result of transferring games, they will only get even older, and most likely they will also have a full schedule. But one of the positive things may be the improvement in the health of Ben Simmons. Almost before the season stopped, the Philadelphia player suffered a back injury, and now he has another year to approach the games in Tokyo in his optimal form.