UPDATE: Bradley Beal announced in a tweet that he will not accept the offer to play for Team USA at Rio. Here’s his full message:
I could not be more grateful for the invitation to represent my country, as it is the ultimate honor, however it is with deep regret that I have declined the opportunity to participate with Team USA this summer in Rio. I have made the decision to dedicate this summer to getting in the best physical shape of my life and feel it is imperative that I stay true to my plan so I can be at my very best supporting my coaches and teammates for the upcoming season. I wish Team USA nothing but great success and I hope to earn another opportunity to represent my country in the near future.
While it would have been nice to see how Beal could have done playing alongside other NBA stars, at least now we can breathe easy knowing he won’t be putting himself at further risk for injury this summer.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Bradley Beal has been offered a roster spot to be on the USA Basketball men’s national team for the 2016 Olympic Games:
USA Basketball has extended an Olympic invitation to the Wizards' Bradley Beal, sources say, but Beal has much to weigh in a contract summer— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 24, 2016
As of the time of this article, Beal has not accepted or declined the invitation.
Beal was one of 31 finalists for the Olympic team last winter. Though we didn’t expect him to make the roster at the time, many perimeter players including Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, and Wizards guard John Wall have declined to participate. Ultimately, that helped Beal’s chances, and here we are.
This summer is going to be a major one for Beal professionally because he is looking to sign a five-year maximum contract with the Wizards. And by all accounts, Beal is going to get that deal. Though his contract talks and his right leg injury history are reasons why some would want him to skip the Olympics, this is an opportunity that is too good to pass up.
So Brad, wear the red, white, and blue for Team USA and bring home the Gold!