The NBA season is coming to a close very soon.
Once the season is over, several players around the league will head to Tokyo for the Olympics.
This was not supposed to be the case.
Last summer was when the Olympics were originally scheduled to take place.
However, a global pandemic halted that plan.
Now this year is when they will take place finally.
Team USA is known as the prohibitive favorites to win every tournament they are in.
When the NBA players show up, it is usually over for the rest of the countries.
In 2019, things were a little different.
The NBA players showed up, but they finished in seventh place at the FIBA World Cup.
Granted, they didn’t have Kevin Durant, but they still had great talent.
The other countries might not be favored, but they still have a chance to shock the world.
The French national team are missing their best player of all-time in Tony Parker, but they still obtain some NBA talent on the roster.
At the 2019 FIBA World Cup, they were able to win bronze.
In fact, they were the first team to beat the United States in 58 games.
The Streak ends: U.S. men’s basketball team eliminated in World Cup quarterfinals, losing to France, 89-79. U.S. had won 58 straight non-exhibition games in FIBA competition dating back to the 2006 World Championship semifinals w/NBA players. France outplayed ‘em, deserved the W.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) September 11, 2019
This French team might not have the star power like other teams outside of Gobert, but they are very well-rounded.
They know how to play with one another and expect a lot of threes to be fired up by Fournier.
Gobert will have the height advantage in a game against Team USA as well.
Do not sleep on France.
The usual suspect for competing alongside the United States is the Spanish national team.
In the last three Olympic games, they have finished with two silver medals.
That is because of them not being able to take down the United States team.
However, they are riding a wave of momentum after winning the World Cup.
They are the ones in this tournament that possess so much veteran leadership.
From the Gasol brothers, to Ricky Rubio, they have guys that have played on several Olympic teams with one another.
Pau Gasol, at 40 years of age, will play for Spain one last time at the Tokyo Olympics, alongside his brother Marc Gasol.
Pau will likely retire from basketball afterwards. pic.twitter.com/balJDmHXpW
— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) June 28, 2021
Unfortunately, they are not expected to have Serge Ibaka for this go around, but they still cannot be counted out.
The Australian national team are always a good team, but tend to miss out on a medal.
They have never finished better than fourth in the World Cup or Olympics.
However, this might be the year things change.
Ben Simmons would definitely help their cause, but he has decided to not play this year.
Ben Simmons made it official today and told Basketball Australia he will not play in the Tokyo Olympics because "he requires this upcoming period of time to focus on individual skill development."
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 28, 2021
However, they still have some young talent we have not seen on this stage before.
The young and athletic Josh Green will make his first appearance at the Olympics.
Matisse Thybulle has dual citizenship and will be playing for the Boomers.
Lastly, a potential lottery pick in this year’s draft will be on the team.
That player is Josh Giddey.
He is supposed to be the next great player out of Australia.
Watch out for Australia this year as they have the team to pull off a few upsets.