Despite having no down-time after the NBA Finals, Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton still can’t wait for the opportunity to play for Team USA.
“We’re in the middle of a championship run,” said Middleton. “To take a second to think about something outside of this season, it was a little tough to think about it. But it was an easy decision for me to go ahead and commit.”
Team USA will eventually get reinforcements from the Bucks’ Middleton and Jrue Holiday and Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker.
All three are planning on joining Team USA (left for Tokyo on July 19) shortly after the NBA season ends.
Game 7, if necessary, would be on July 22, three days before Team USA begins their Olympic tournament against France, followed by games against Iran on July 28 and Czech Republic on July 31.
“It doesn’t bother me at all. I love basketball. I love playing it,” Middleton said regarding the busy, condensed schedule. “During the offseason, it’s hard for me to take a couple weeks off, because I want to be back in the gym doing something, working on my game. And one advantage of it is, I don’t have to get back in shape.”
“I felt like I just wasn’t going to stop playing. Just continue playing basketball, which is what I love to do,” said Holiday. “Not having a break and just feeling like, ‘Well, we’re in the Finals, why not just continue playing basketball.'”
Booker, meanwhile, said that he would fly on the “next thing smoking” to Tokyo as soon as the NBA Finals end, as he considers it “very important” and “a life time goal of mine” to play on the U.S. Olympic Team.
All three players will have to get integrated quickly into Team USA, but for now, the focus remains on one goal.
“Win the Championship, and just go from there,” said Holiday. “I feel like the goal for us and one of the dreams for me since I was a little kid was winning an NBA Championship. That’s the main focus.”