Olympics

Men's Basketball at Tokyo Olympics: Every team's roster, notable NBA players, groups, schedule and history

Basketball, as a medal sport, has been part of the Olympics since 1936.

Leading into the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which was postponed to 2021 (Jul. 25 - Aug. 7) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States of America have dominated the gold medal tally in both the men's and women's categories.

In the men's, Team USA has won 15 of a possible 19 gold medals and will be gunning to bag their fourth consecutive gold in Tokyo. On the other hand, Team USA has won eight of a possible 11 since 1976 in the women's category and will be looking to win their seventh consecutive.

How will things pan out in Tokyo?

Competition Format

The 12 teams are divided into three groups of four. After the group phase, the top two teams from each group and the two best third-place teams qualify for the Quarterfinals.

Below, find an in-depth look at the history, form, roster, groups and schedule of every one of the 12 participating teams.

(Stay tuned for the preview of the women's bracket)

Preview: Japan | Argentina | Australia | Czech Republic | France | Germany | Iran | Italy | Nigeria | Slovenia | Spain | USA

Japan (host)

Form and History

Qualifying for the tournament as the host, Japan is the lowest-ranked squad from the FIBA men's rankings among the final 12. This is their first participation in Olympic men's basketball since 1976, when they went winless and finished 11th of 12.

The team is coming off a winless 0-5 record in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Roster

Yudai Baba, Gavin Edwards, Rui Hachimura, Tenketsu Harimoto, Makoto Hiejima, Kosuke Kanamaru, Avi Schafer, Daiki Tanaka, Yuki Togashi, Leo Vendrame, Hugh Watanabe, Yuta Watanabe.

Notable NBA players

The team's roster is headlined by NBA players in 23-year-old Rui Hachimura, a 6-foot-8 second-year wing for the Washington Wizards, and 26-year-old Yuta Watanbe, a 6-foot-9 third-year wing for the Toronto Raptors.

The next biggest star on the team is Yudai Baba, a 25-year-old guard for Melbourne United in Australia's National Basketball League.

Additionally, Hachimura was named the flag bearer for Japan's delegation for the July 23rd opening ceremony.

Group and Schedule

They are pooled in Group C which includes two top-four ranked squads in Spain (2), Argentina (4) and Slovenia.

Date Day Opponent
Jul. 26 Monday Spain
Jul. 29 Thursday Slovenia
Aug. 1 Sunday Argentina

Argentina

Form and History

This Argentina squad, which is ranked fourth in the FIBA Men's ranking, is coming off a silver-medal finish at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. They are the only nation, that still exists, to have won a basketball gold medal in the men's category apart from the USA.

Their 2004 gold medal in Athens is arguably their national basketball team's greatest achievement. The only other medal they have won at the Olympics is the bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Roster

Lautaro Berra, Leandro Bolmaro, Nicolas Brussino, Francisco Caffaro, Facundo Campazzo, Gabriel Deck, Marcos Delia, Juan Francisco Fernandez, Maximo Fjellerup, Tayavek Gallizzi, Patricio Garino, Nicolas Laprovittola, Luis Scola, Juan Pablo Vaulet, Lucas Vildoza.

NBA players

At the age of 41, Luis Scola - a former 10-year NBA veteran from 2007 to 2017 - will be playing in his fifth Olympics, the most ever by an Argentian basketball player.

A key member of the team reaching the final of the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Scola's expertise and experience will be huge. Apart from him, there are four NBA players on the roster: Facundo Campazzo (Denver Nuggets), Leandro Bolmaro (No. 23 overall pick 2020 NBA Draft with the Minnesota Timberwolves), Gabriel Deck (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Lucas Vildoza (New York Knicks).

Group and Schedule

Argentina is grouped with Spain, who they played in the Final of the 2019 FIBA World Cup, in Group B alongside Slovenia and the hosts, Japan.

Date Day Opponent
Jul. 26 Monday Slovenia
Jul. 29 Thursday Spain
Aug. 1 Sunday Japan

Australia

One of the most talented rosters in the 12-team field, Australia is looking to bag its first-ever medal. It came mighty close in Rio in 2016 when it lost the bronze medal game to Spain by just the one point (89-88).

Three years later, at the FIBA World Cup in 2019, they finished fourth and finished agonizingly close once again to their first-ever international medal for basketball. However, that fourth-place finish allowed them to directly qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Roster

Chris Goulding, Patty Mills, Joshua Benjamin Green, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova, Nathan Sobey, Matisse Thybulle, Dante Exum, Aaron Baynes, Jock Landale, Duop Thomas Reath, Nic Kay.

Notable NBA players

The Boomers squad is headlined by veteran NBA players in Mills (San Antonio Spurs) and Ingles (Utah Jazz). Mills, who is competing in his fourth Olympics, is the flag bearer for the Australian contingent. Thus, becoming the first Indigenous Australian to carry the flag at an Olympic Games

Other former or current NBA players who are also part of the roster include Aron Baynes (Toronto Raptors), Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum (Houston Rockets), Josh Green (Dallas Mavericks) and Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers).

Group and schedule

The Australian Boomers were drawn alongside Nigeria, Italy and Germany in Group B for Tokyo Olympics.

Day Date Opponent
Sunday Jul. 25 Nigeria
Wednesday Jul. 28 Italy
Saturday Jul. 31 Germany

Czech Republic

Form and History

Having finished sixth in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the Czech Republic needed to win their qualifying tournament in Victoria, Canada. They did just that, rebounding from an opening game loss at the hands of Turkey to winning it all, courtesy of a dominant performance over Greece.

However, their run to the Finals of the qualifying tournament needed some heroics in the first game of the knockout stage against Canada.

Winning the tournament sealed the Czech Republic's first-ever appearance at the Olympics since the separation of Czechoslovakia.

Roster

Patrik Auda, Ondrej Balvin, Jaromir Bohacik, Lukas Palyza, Martin Peterka, Patrick Samoura, Tomas Satoransky, Blake Schilb, Ondrej Sehnal, Jakub Sirina, Jan Vesely, Tomas Vyoral.

Notable NBA players

Their squad only includes the lone NBA player and that is guard Tomas Satoransky. The Chicago Bulls representative came up huge for the Czechs as it was his shot that propelled the team to the final of the qualifying tournament.

Group and Schedule

After winning their qualifiers in Canada, Czech Republic were slotted against Iran, France and World No. 1-ranked USA.

Date Day Opponent
Sunday Jul. 25 Iran
Wednesday Jul. 28 France
Saturday Jul. 31 USA

France

Form and History

Finishing third in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, France directly qualified for the Tokyo Olympics along with winners Spain as one of the two teams from Europe. This is their third consecutive Olympics, their longest such streak since 1960.

Having finished sixth in the previous two editions - 2012 at London and 2016 in Rio - the French squad will be keen to get among the medals once again. In the history of this competition, they only have two medals to show for and both are Silver (1948, 2000).

Roster

Andrew Albicy, Nicolas Batum, Petr Cornelie, Nando de Colo, Moustapha Fall, Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert, Thomas Heurtel, Timothé Luwawu Kongbo, Frank Ntilikina, Vincent Poirier, Guerschon Yabusele.

Notable NBA players

The French national squad includes five current NBA players, headlined by the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

Other NBA players include LA Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, Boston Celtics guard Evan Fournier, New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina and Brooklyn Nets guard Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot.

Apart from these current stars, there are also a couple of former NBA players in Nando de Colo, Guerschon Yabusele and Vincent Poirier.

Group and Schedule

France is slotted in Group A alongside Czech Republic, Iran and the World's No. 1 squad - Team USA.

Date Day Opponent
Sunday Jul. 25 USA
Wednesday Jul. 28 Czech Republic
Saturday Jul. 31 Iran

Germany

Form and History

This is Germany's sixth appearance in the men's basketball tournament at the Olympics. It is their first since the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and after their 18th placed finish at the 32-team 2019 FIBA World Cup, it took winning a qualifying tournament in Croatia to seal it.

Roster

Danilo Barthel, Robin Benzing, Isaac Bonga, Niels Giffey, Justus Hollatz, Leon Kratzer, Moado Lo, Andres Obst, Joshiko Saibou, Johannes Thiemann, Johannes Voigtmann, Moritz Wagner, Lukas Wank, Jan Niklas Wimberg.

Notable NBA players

With Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder not participating, the German national team includes only two NBA players: Orlando Magic forward Moritz Wagner and Washington Wizards guard Isaac Bonga.

Group and Schedule

After winning their qualifying tournament in Croatia, they were slotted in Group B alongside Italy, Australia and Nigeria, the only team from Africa in the Olympics.

Day Date Opponent
Sunday Jul. 25 Italy
Wednesday Jul. 28 Nigeria
Saturday Jul. 31 Australia

Iran

Form and History

The only team from Asia in the Tokyo Olympics, this is just Iran's third appearance in the Olympics with the previous qualifications in 1948 and 2008. The three-time Asia Cup Champions (2007, 2009, 2013) are coming off a 23rd place finish in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, which was their third consecutive World Cup - the most they have played in a row in the country's history.

Roster

Yet to confirm; No NBA players.

Group and Schedule

Iran is slotted in Group A alongside Czech Republic, France and the World's No. 1 team in the USA.

Day Date Opponent
Sunday Jul. 25 Czech Republic
Wednesday Jul. 28 USA
Saturday Jul. 31 France

Italy

Form and History

Currently ranked 12th in the FIBA rankings, the Italians qualified for the Olympics by winning the Qualifying Tournament in Serbia, Belgrade. One of the founding nations of FIBA, Italy is making its first Olympic basketball appearance since their Silver medal finish in 2004 at Athens.

In a total of 12 appearances, they have won two Silver medals (1980, 2004).

Roster

Simone Fontecchio, Danilo Gallinari, Nicolo Mannion, Nicolo Melli, Ricardo Moraschini, Alessandro Pajola, Achille Polonara, Giampaolo Ricci, Marco Spissu, Amedeo Tessitori, Stefano Tonut, Michele Vitali.

NBA players

The Italians roster includes three NBA players: Golden State Warriors rookie Nicolo Mannion, Atlanta Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari and former Dallas Mavericks forward Nicolo Melli.

Group and Schedule

The Italians are placed in Group B alongside neighbours Germany and Australia, Nigeria.

Day Date Opponent
Sunday Jul. 25 Germany
Wednesday Jul. 28 Australia
Saturday Jul. 31 Nigeria

Nigeria

Form and History

The rising basketball power in Africa, Nigeria is making its third appearance in the Olympics, all of which have come since 2012. Ranked 22nd in the world, Nigeria is the only country from Africa to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.

Roster

Precious Achiuwa, Kezie Okpala, Miye Oni, Josh Okogie, Jordan Nwora, Chimezie Metu, Ike Iroegbu, Michael Gbinije, Obi Emegano, Calab Agada, Stanley Okoye, Ekpe Udoh, Chima Moneke, Jahlil Okafor, Gabe Vincent.

NBA Players

Among Nigeria's 15-man roster, there are eight players currently in the NBA - the most in any Olympic squad aside from Team USA.

Group and Schedule

The Nigerians are placed in Group B alongside Australia, Germany and Italy.

Day Date Opponent
Sunday Jul. 25 Germany
Wednesday Jul. 28 Australia
Saturday Jul. 31 Italy

Slovenia

Form and History

Behind Luka Doncic, watch out for the Slovenian national team. They could be the next rising giant, not just in Europe, but on the global stage.

The reigning EuroBasketball champions, they clinched their ticket to their first-ever Olympics since the separation of Yugoslavia by winning the Qualifying Tournament in Lithuania.

Roster

Not yet confirmed

NBA Players

Luka Doncic is not just the star of the Slovenian team but a rising superstar of the basketball world. Alongside him, the only NBA player on the roster that won the Qualifying Tournament is Denver Nuggets forward Vlatko Cancar.

Roster and Schedule

After winning the tournament in Lithuania, the Slovenians were placed in Group C alongside the hosts, Spain and Argentina.

Day Date Schedule
Monday Jul. 26 Argentina
Thursday Jul. 29 Japan
Sunday Aug. 1 Spain

Spain

Form and History

The reigning World Cup Champions will be heavy favourites to grab a medal in this Olympics, having done so in three of the previous Summer Olympics (Silver in 2008, 2012; Bronze in 2016). The No. 2 ranked nation, Spain is making their sixth straight appearance at the Summer Olympics and will be keen to extend their run of medals.

Roster

Alberto Abalde, Alex Abrines, Carlos Alocen, Dario Brizuela, Victor Claver, Rudy Fernandez, Usman Garuba, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, Juancho Hernangomez, Willy Hernangomez, Sergio Llull, Xabi Lopez-Arostegui, Pierre Oriola, Sergio Rodriguez, Ricky Rubio.

NBA Players

The Spanish squad includes three active NBA players in Marc Gasol, Willy Hernangomez and Ricky Rubio to go along with former NBA players in Alex Abrines, Rudy Fernandez and Pau Gasol.

Roster and Schedule

Spain is alongside Argentina, Slovenia and hosts Japan in Group C.

Day Date Opponent
Monday Jul. 26 Japan
Thursday Jul. 29 Argentina
Sunday Aug. 1 Slovenia

USA

Form and History

Team USA has won three straight gold medals but their dominance is starting to fade with the rise of talent around the world. In fact, their seventh-place finish in the 2019 FIBA World Cup snapped their 12-year run of dominance, where they won gold in every international tournament that they participated in (Olympics: 2008, 12, 16; FIBA World Cup: 2010, 2014 and the 2017 FIBA Americas).

Roster

Bam Adebayo, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Jerami Grant, Draymond Green, Jrue Holiday, Keldon Johnson, Zach LaVine, Damian Lillard, JaVale McGee, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum.

How many NBA players, you ask? All 12.

Group and Schedule

Team USA is slotted in Group A alongside France, Iran and Czech Republic.

Day Date Opponent
Sunday Jul. 25 France
Wednesday Jul. 28 Iran
Saturday Jul. 31 Czech Republic

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