Chris Paul declines Team USA invitations for Tokyo Olympics
USA Basketball had known that Paul was trending toward this decision for several days, sources said. The Suns are in the Western Conference finals against the LA Clippers, and if they reach the NBA Finals, there would be virtually no break for Paul from the end of the NBA season to the start of the Tokyo Olympics. Game 7 of the Finals is set for July 22, and Team USA’s opening Olympic game against France is July 25.
Paul missed Game 1 of the West finals and did not play in Game 2 after entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols this pastWednesday. His return to play remains indefinite, athough sources say there is optimism within the team that he can return for Game 3 on Thursday.
The 36-year-old Paul was part of the U.S. teams that won Olympic gold at the 2008 Beijing Games and 2012 London Games. He also withdrew his name in 2016 from the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry has also declined an invitation to join the 12-man Team USA roster because of his impending free agency this summer, sources told ESPN.
Lowry made his Olympics debut as part of the 2016 team.
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