Team USA’s men’s basketball team can’t seem to catch a break.
Team USA guard Zach LaVine is the latest scratch because of COVID-19. LaVine has been entered into health and safety protocols and did not travel with the rest of the team on their flight to Tokyo. In a statement, USA Basketball hopes that LaVine could rejoin the team in Japan sometime later this week, which could mean that he doesn’t have COVID-19 but could have come in close contact with someone who tested positive for the highly contagious virus.
LaVine is the third player on Team USA to be affected by COVID-19 in some shape or form. Bradley Beal left the team after being placed in protocols. Jerami Grant was placed in 4-day contact tracing quarantine but has since returned to action.
LaVine’s absence is a blow to a USA Basketball that has struggled to look like the dominant force it is known to be and now has to travel with only eight players following Beal’s exit and Kevin Love deciding not to play. LaVine played well in Beal’s absence averaging 10.3 points in the four exhibition games, third on the team behind Damian Lillard and Kevin Durant.
Center JaVale McGee and forward Keldon Johnson were chosen to replace Beal and Love giving the guard-heavy team some much-needed size. This news about LaVine comes on the heels of U.S. tennis superstar Coco Gauff revealing she tested positive for COVID-19 and had to withdraw from the summer games.
These Summer Olympics are going to be a pure struggle.
Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty