Gregg Popovich Remains Committed to Coaching Team USA in 2021 Olympics

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMarch 24, 2020

CLEVELAND, OHIO - MARCH 08: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs watches the scoreboard during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on March 08, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

USA Basketball is approaching the Tokyo Olympics the same despite the Games officially being postponed from this summer to 2021 due to the global coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday morning.

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Gregg Popovich "remain committed to the team into 2021."

"The commitments everyone made for 2020 are still there; we're all-in and we're committed," Colangelo said, per Windhorst. "It's important to deal with the unknowns and this virus. This too shall pass and we'll be back for everyone's well-being."

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a conference call on Tuesday morning. The IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee subsequently released a joint statement. It read, in part:

"In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

"The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020."

USA Basketball had announced its 44 finalists for the 2020 Olympic roster on Feb. 10. The list was headlined by the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Popovich was named the USA Basketball head coach for the 2017-20 quadrennium on Oct. 23, 2015. Unforeseen circumstances will extend the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs head coach's tenure with the program by at least one year.

This marks the first time the Olympics have been postponed, while cancellations have taken place in 1916, 1940 and 1944 during World War I and World War II (h/t BBC Sport). The 2020 Games were originally scheduled to begin on July 24 and continue through Aug. 9.

Whenever the Tokyo Olympics finally begin, USA Basketball will participate as the three-time defending gold medalist.


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