July 15, 2024

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Team USA basketball: Bradley Beal in health and safety protocols, Olympic status in jeopardy, per report

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Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has entered the health and safety protocols at Team USA training camp, and that has placed his return to play status up in the air, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Joe Vardon. It is unclear how exactly Team USA’s protocols, or those that will be in place at the Olympics, will differ from the protocols the NBA had in place during the season, but the Olympics are not taking many chances in the middle of this pandemic. There will not be fans at the Olympics themselves, and now, while nothing has been decided definitively, there appears to be a chance that Beal will not be there either.

Team USA still has two exhibition games remaining in Las Vegas. They will play against Australia on Friday and Spain on Sunday. The games themselves begin on Sunday, July 25 when Team USA takes on France. Games against Iran and the Czech Republic will follow, and then, assuming Team USA makes it that far, the single-elimination stage begins on Aug. 3. 

Beal is a first-time Olympian but was an obvious choice after a spectacular season in which he came up just short in the race for the scoring title against Stephen Curry. He is a 3-time NBA All-Star that made his first All-NBA Team last season. He won gold medals playing for Team USA’s U16 roster in the FIBA Americas Championship and its U17 squad in the World Championships. 

But if Beal does indeed miss the Olympics, Team USA will be put in an even more precarious position. Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are still playing in the NBA Finals, so they have not joined the team yet. That will put even more pressure on the Select Team members currently in Vegas to contribute, especially if one of them needs to be promoted to the permanent roster for Tokyo. Saddiq Bey, Darius Garland and Keldon Johnson earned such promotions for the exhibition games, but it’s unclear who would be in line to replace Beal if he needs to sit out. 

For now, nothing has been decided. Beal’s status is up in the air, and Team USA can only hope that he is able to participate in the games and that none of his teammates are in danger of being placed into the protocols with him.