USA Basketball Meets France In First Game

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Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers

Following a tumultuous couple of weeks, the United States men’s basketball team is ready to compete for its fourth straight gold medal. Team USA will play its first game in the Tokyo Olympics this weekend, where they are scheduled to take on a familiar foe.

The U.S. and France will meet Sunday in Saitama, Japan. The game is scheduled for 8 a.m. EDT (9 p.m. local time). It will be broadcast live on Peacock and NBCOlympics.com. NBC will re-air the game in the afternoon, and a replay will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network in primetime.

France prevented Team USA from winning its last international competition, defeating the U.S. in the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. This version of Team USA features a much improved roster, and Sunday’s outcome is likely to be very different.

Kevin Durant leads the way for Team USA, coming off a dominant postseason with the Brooklyn Nets. Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Zach LaVine and Devin Booker are the other Team USA members that were 2021 NBA All-Stars.

Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday are set to represent the U.S. less than a week after winning the title with the Milwaukee Bucks. Durant and Draymond Green are the only gold medal winners on the roster.

France has an All-Star of their own in Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum and Boston Celtics guard Evan Fournier are on the team as well after having productive NBA seasons. New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina and Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will also play for the French national team.

Team USA will finish up group play by taking on Iran and Czech Republic. They are heavy favorites to advance to the knockout stage and ultimately win the gold medal.




Photo: Getty Images | Steph Chambers

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