Boston’s Brown, Tatum, Walker ’21 Olympic finalists; Smart opts out

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Justin Quinn
·2 min read
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The days of Team Shamrock — as the cadre of Boston Celtics players who suited up for Team USA the summer before last were often called — feel like they were in another century at this point, but the participation of Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker paid off.

The foursome reportedly made the final cut for the 2021 U.S. Olympic team, joining a total of 57 such finalists, though The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that Smart will eschew the honor. Reportedly citing injury concerns derived from playing late into back-to-back seasons and an abbreviated offseason this summer, the Flower mound native makes sense given his recent calf tear.

Smart’s decision means Team Shamrock will be reduced by 25% in the final distribution of players vying for one of the roster spots on the U.S. Olympic team.

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No word at present regarding the other Celtics who made the cut, but it would not shock to see any or all of them decline the invite given Walker and Brown are also dealing with chronic knee issues, and Tatum is recovering from a bout with COVID-19 that still reportedly leaves him feeling subpar. The 2021 Olympics are scheduled to begin on Friday, July 23 in Tokyo, Japan, and continue on until August 8 of this year, leaving little time between NBA seasons. https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/1370066508496396291?s=20

The current campaign is scheduled to end on no later than July 22, leaving virtually no time off at all for players playing into the NBA Finals, and not much more than a few weeks off for teams exiting the postseason early, and little more for those who miss it entirely. League commissioner Adam Silver sounded confident addressing the public at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game that the coming season will start on time. And while that is a good thing for the overall state of the league, it seems there will be but weeks again to rest on the other side of the event. To that end, a large field of invitees may be more important than ever for USA Basketball to actually field a team capable of competing against an increasingly competent field, with or without any Celtics. https://embed.sendtonews.com/oembed/?SC=DKiAjEr2qj-1194498-8380&autoplay=on&V=2&format=json [lawrence-related id=47677,47631,47628,47615] [listicle id=47671]

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