Adam Silver Says NBA Players In 2021 Olympics ‘Unlikely’

With the NBA expecting the 2020/21 season to start until this upcoming January at the earliest, the league’s players will likely not participate in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, commissioner Adam Silver said on NBATV (via NBC Sports).

“I think it’s unlikely, at the end of the day, that, if we start late, we would stop for the Olympics,” Silver said. “Because, as you know, it’s not just a function of stopping for the period in which they are competing over in Tokyo. But they require training camp, and then they require rest afterwards.”

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the 2020 Olympics to be postponed, thus casting doubt on NBA players’ ability to participate. The Olympics are set for a July 23, 2021 start, so an NBA season that begins in January or later would result in a likely conflict.

While Team USA would be the most severely impacted without the NBA’s top players available, international teams would also be affected as the league’s best international talents would be unavailable.

“There are so many incredible players, beginning with the USA team, we’ll be able to field a very competitive team,” Silver said. “I am a bit worried about some of the international teams, because, as you know, some of their stars play in our league, and their absence would make a huge difference for those national teams.”

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18 thoughts on “Adam Silver Says NBA Players In 2021 Olympics ‘Unlikely’

  1. Somalipirate

    So Team USA does it old school, with college kids. If they can’t win the gold with 19 and 20 year olds, then basketball in America has really slipped

      • hiflew

        That is completely true, except for every year before 1992 excluding 1972 and 1988. And 1972 was a complete fraud. The whole Dream Team thing came about because Team USA led by David Robinson “only” won bronze in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

      • seth3120

        You’re right Lucky but I think the point Silver is making is the NBA has become more of an international league. The players college players used to play against won’t be opposing them anymore because they’re now in the NBA. Not saying it’s an automatic thing at all but it is different

    • frank costanza

      Great idea! Hey, that’s the way they did it when the NBA players didn’t play in the Olympics. I just want someone to represent my country.

  2. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    No real guarantee that the Olympics will happen in 2021 at this point…

  3. Black Ace57

    Why is it that in hockey for years the NHL was able to have a break for the winter olympics and all the star players were able to play and then return to the NHL after and play the rest of the season? All this nonsense of no time or players opting out is bs.

    • x%sure

      Because they can skate and don’t have to jump.

      A GLeague/college/expat BB team would be fine since the other teams are also hindered.

  4. Count that baby and a foul!

    They should allow the G league select team to competw. They can train them for it all year. It would be the ultimate publicity tour and platform to showcase draft talent!

  5. jump shot

    Our non-nba players vs the rest of the world’s non-nba players….
    Now we’ll get to see who gets better coaching, who’s more fundamentally sound, who has basketball IQ, and who’s really just athletic.
    AAU vs real basketball. In years past, they said the gap was closing (the USA’s basketball superiority). Now we’ll see if the gap has closed. Should be fun to watch… hopefully the Olympics actually happen.

  6. dust44

    Could it b G League guys? Or would it have to be college kids. U wouldn’t get the big name college kids because they would b preparing for the draft at that point. That’s IF the college b-ball season goes smoothly with no delays

    • Somalipirate

      But NBA 2021 Draft isn’t going to happen until Fall 2021, just like this year. So college kids go play in the Olympics and come back before the draft.

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