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Despite Olympics postponement, Jerry Colangelo and Gregg Popovich are ‘committed’ to Team USA

Ryan Young
·2-min read

The International Olympic Committee officially postponed the 2020 Olympics by a year on Tuesday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While that move undoubtedly will change how the upcoming Summer Games look across the board, USA Basketball’s leadership is staying put.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Gregg Popovich remain committed to the team in 2021, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

“The commitments everyone made for 2020 are still there, we're all in and we're committed,” Colangelo said Tuesday, via ESPN. “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.”

Popovich’s and Colangelo’s future with USA Basketball was up in the air following the 2020 games, as both had signed deals with the organization through the end of the year. Popovich, the longtime San Antonio Spurs coach, took over for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski following the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Team USA was set to begin training camp for the Tokyo Games on July 4, 20 days before the games were originally scheduled to begin. Yet with the NBA — and almost every other sports league in the country — having suspended operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s unclear when it will start up again. There is no official date set yet for the Olympics in 2021, either.

Eventually, the NBA season could end up interfering with USA Basketball’s Olympics schedule.

Colangelo, however, isn’t concerned yet.

“We will follow the leader. We have to wait to see how everything is laid out and we'll make the adjustment,” Colangelo said, via ESPN. “Our players are NBA players first, let's face that.”

But with both the NBA — starting mid-October and running through June — and the summer Olympics — generally starting late July or early August — schedules traditionally remaining the same, Colangelo doesn’t see either changing drastically once things return to normal after the pandemic, even if some in the NBA world would prefer to see the regular season delayed by two months.

“Changing the window for the NBA is easier said than done. There's a lot of logistics and contracts to deal with,” Colangelo said, via ESPN. “Same for the Olympics. You have to assume it will be around the same dates.”

While the upcoming Olympics will now take place “no later than 2021,” both Jerry Colangelo and Gregg Popovich still plan to lead USA Basketball.
While the upcoming Olympics will now take place “no later than 2021,” both Jerry Colangelo and Gregg Popovich still plan to lead USA Basketball. (AP/Charles Krupa)

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