With the start of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, just around the corner for the United States men’s basketball team, Chicago Bulls star shooting guard Zach LaVine is getting ready for his first Olympics. But it wasn’t that long ago that it looked like the Bulls first-time All-Star guard LaVine would not be playing in Team USA’s Olympic opener in pool play against France on the morning of July 25.
LaVine was the lone member of Team USA that didn’t make the initial flight to Tokyo this week among those that were playing with this squad during the pre-Olympic exhibition circuit earlier this month. LaVine was cleared in time, though, to make the trip to Tokyo and likely be ready for the opener against France this weekend.
Playing with a group with the United States squad that is extremely talented and should be the favorites to take the Gold Medal, this is a big opportunity for LaVine. Team USA has some big-time star power on this team with LaVine such as Brooklyn Nets superstar forward Kevin Durant, Boston Celtics forward/wing Jayson Tatum, Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, among others.
It was KD that was taking to social media ahead of the start of this run in the Olympic Games for the United States to try and joke with LaVine. In an Instagram Live post from KD this week, the Nets future Hall-of-Famer said that he promised Bulls head coach Billy Donovan that LaVine would start playing defense for him.
Kevin Durant seen joking with his USA teammate and Chicago Bulls’ star Zach LaVine on IG Live
Donovan is the current Bulls head coach who will be entering his second year with the team next season. He was also KD’s coach for a while when Donovan was the Oklahoma City Thunder head coach for five years. Donovan coached KD prior to making the jump to the Golden State Warriors a few years back.
It’s good to see some type of team chemistry and bond forming ahead of the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. This should do nothing but help keep the mood light amid a weird week for LaVine and the United States while he went through the health and safety protocol.
LaVine and Team USA are specifically set to tip-off their run in pool play on July 25 in Tokyo at 7 a.m. CT. France will be the first of three opponents in Team USA’s group, which also includes the Czech Republic and Iran.