Olympic summer magic starts today as the basketball tournament begins in Japan. With the NBA season over and the Milwaukee Bucks victorious we can still catch some competitive hoops.
The Great Britain national basketball team did not qualify for this Olympic Games. So what is there for the GB Magic fan to have interest in during this games?
ORLANDO MAGIC INTEREST
One Magic player has made it to Tokyo 2020 so there will be some Olympic summer MAGIC in the shape of Moritz Wagner.
Mo Wagner is an integral part of the German national team playing at the centre and power forward positions. Germany could progress from their group of four teams which includes Australia, Italy and Nigeria.
Expected to progress further is the final Magic interest as our former shooting guard Evan Fournier again plays in the always competitive French team. France face the Czech Republic, Iran and the United States of America in their group.
The opening round is a three group format with each group containing four of the twelve teams that qualified for Tokyo.
Those groups are:
CZECH REPUBLIC, IRAN, FRANCE, USA – GROUP A
ITALY, GERMANY, AUSTRALIA, NIGERIA – GROUP B
ARGENTINA, JAPAN, SPAIN, SLOVENIA – GROUP C
In each group the four teams will play each other once, with the top two teams qualifying for the quarter finals.
The two best third place teams will also qualify for the quarter finals.
Seeding for the quarter finals will be based on the group stage performances based on points, points difference and points scored.
The competition then moves to a single game knockout phase for the quarter finals, semis and Final.
Two losing teams from the semi-final will play in a Bronze medal deciding game.
The group stage of the tournament begins on July 25th 2021 and concludes on August 1st.
Next the four quarterfinal games are all to be played on August 3rd.
The semi-finals take place on August 5th.
The Final and Bronze medal games take place on August 7th.
WHICH NBA PLAYERS ARE AT THE OLYMPICS?
Team USA have had a troubled build up to the Games but remain favourites to take the Gold medal. Some are saying the team is not full of stars as in previous years but it still contains a lot of talent. Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum, Damian Lillard, Bam Adebayo and Draymond Green should be enough to give opponents a lot of trouble. They are joined by Zach LaVine, Jerami Grant, Javale McGee and Keldon Johnson in a twelve man squad coached by Gregg Popovich. Golden State coach Steve Kerr is Pop’s assistant. They are joined on the bench by former Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova’s Jay Wright
France are contenders for Gold. They feature Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum, Frank Ntilikina, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Rudy Gobert.
The Czech’s have Tomas Satoransky.
As always Australia are strong, the Boomers boast a lot of NBA experience. Patty Mills leads the team. Joe Ingles, Matisse Thybulle, Dante Exum, Aron Baynes and Josh Green also wear the gold and green. Former NBA player and 2015 NBA champion Matthew Dellavedova is also a member of the squad.
Germany have Mo Wagner alongside Isaac Bongo.
Italy have NBA experience in the form of Danilo Gallinari, Nicolo Melli and Nico Mannion.
Nigeria are coached by Mike Brown, an ever present NBA coach since 1997 and currently assistant at the Warriors. They feature Jahill Okafor, Josh Okogie, Precious Achiuwa, KZ Okpala, Jordan Nwora, Gabe Vincent, Chimezie Metu and Miye Oni. Ex-NBA player Ekpe Udoh is also a member of the squad.
Argentina have Facundo Campazzo, Luca Vidoza and Gabriel Deck joined by former NBA power forward Luis Scola.
The hosts of this Olympic summer magic Japan are led by the Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura.
Slovenia are focused on the talent of Luka Doncic. He is assisted by Denver’s Vlatko Cancar and former Miami Heat member Zoran Dragic.
Spain will push all the way for Gold with a talented squad. Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol and Willy Hernangomez all play in the NBA. Pau Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodriguez, Victor Claver, Alex Abrines and Sergio Llull all have NBA experience.
WHERE TO WATCH OLYMPIC SUMMER MAGIC
The best option in the UK is Eurosport. They have the rights to broadcast all sports at the same time so will feature the basketball in its entirety. This is a subscription channel.
The BBC is allowed to broadcast only two sports at the same time and their schedule is not clear what they will actually be covering during their broadcast times.
TOKYO 2020 OLYMICS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE – UK TIMES (5v5)
Sunday 25th July
02:00 Iran vs Czech Republic
05:40 Germany vs Italy
09:20 Australia vs Nigeria
13:00 France vs USA
Monday 26th July
05:40 Argentina vs Slovenia
13:00 Japan vs Spain
02:00 Korea vs Spain
09:20 Serbia vs Canada
Tuesday 27th July
02:00 Japan vs France
05:40 Nigeria vs USA
09:20 Australia vs Belgium
13:00 Puerto Rico vs China
Wednesday 28th July
02:00 Nigeria vs Germany
05:40 USA vs Iran
09:20 Italy vs Australia
13:00 Czech Republic vs France
Thursday 29th July
05:40 Slovenia vs Japan
13:00 Spain vs Argentina
02:00 Canada vs Korea
09:20 Spain vs Serbia
Friday 30th July
02:00 Belgium vs Puerto Rico
05:40 USA vs Japan
09:20 France vs Nigeria
13:00 China vs Australia
Saturday 31st July
02:00 Iran vs France
05:40 Italy vs Nigeria
09:20 Australia vs Germany
13:00 USA vs Czech Republic
Sunday 1st August
05:40 Argentina vs Japan
09:20 Spain vs Slovenia
02:00 Canada vs Spain
13:00 Korea vs Serbia
Monday 2nd August
02:00 Nigeria vs Japan
05:40 France vs USA
09:20 China vs Belgium
13:00 Australia vs Puerto Rico
Tuesday 3rd August
Men Quarter-Finals begin – match-ups, times, TBC.
Wednesday 4th August
Women Quarter-Finals begin – match-ups, times, TBC.
You can visit the full Olympic website here