The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo Olympic organizers agreed Tuesday to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the games being pushed back a year is disappointing, the delay means a different-looking Team USA will take the hardwood in Tokyo when the Olympics begin.
Warriors star Klay Thompson has been open about his desire to play for his country. But Thompson missed the entire 2019-20 season as he rehabbed from the torn ACL he suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Due to the lengthy rehab and his desire to help the Warriors return to the top of the NBA pecking order next season, Thompson almost certainly wouldn't have been able to suit up for the red, white and blue this summer.
The postponement also means Steph Curry, who had been targeting playing in the Olympics even after he broke his non-shooting hand, will have a whole season to get used to his "new normal" before heading to Tokyo in hopes of capturing a gold medal.
Team USA also could see Kevin Durant suit up in 2021. The former Warrior almost certainly was out for the 2020 games as he continues to rehab his ruptured Achilles. But a fully healthy 2020-21 season could see the star of the 2016 gold-medal winning team join Curry, Thompson and other stars in Tokyo, looking to cement the United States' place atop the basketball world.
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Golden State Warriors
The delay could mean the loss of a star, though. LeBron James will be 36 next summer and already was on the fence about competing in another Olympics. Losing James would be a blow to Team USA, but if Curry, Thompson, Durant and the rest of America's stars choose to compete, Gregg Popovich's squad will be the favorites to win gold.
The IOC made the right call in suspending the games for public health reasons, but the delay could allow Team USA to get some of its best back on the court for the gold-medal chase.