Tokyo Olympics: Bulls' Zach LaVine commits to Team USA

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Zach LaVine commits to Team USA for Tokyo Olympics originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Each time he was asked about the topic during the Chicago Bulls' 2020-21 season, Zach LaVine indicated a desire to suit up for Team USA at this summer's Olympics.

"I would love to go out there and represent my country," he told reporters on May 11. "I think I’ve shown what kind of player I am and what I can contribute to a team."

Now, he's heading to Tokyo.

LaVine has committed to join Team USA for this summer's Olympics, his agent Nima Namakian confirmed Wednesday.

Barring any de-commitments, the news adds to a stacked 12-man roster, especially in the guard department. Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal and Jrue Holiday have all reportedly staked their claim. So, too, have Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton and Jerami Grant on the wing, and Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green and Kevin Love in the front court.

For LaVine to join such company is a testament to his development as a player. He made his first All-Star team in March, and eventually finished a career season with averages of 27.4 points, five rebounds and 4.9 assists per game on 50.7 percent shooting from the field and 41.9 percent from 3-point range.

"You watch him play, he's worked hard defensively, he's continued to try to get better and improve in that area. I think his decision-making and how he's playing on offense, he's continuing to improve and get better there," said Bulls coach Billy Donovan after LaVine was added to the 57-player finalist pool for a Team USA roster spot in March.

"The fact that he's being recognized for the work he's put in and what he's done I think is a great testament to him and how he's grown and continued to get better as a player."

The Bulls also hope it's a sign of the franchise returning to relevancy, a goal executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas has belabored since being hired last offseason. LaVine will rub elbows with some of the best players in the NBA this summer — wink, wink — and showcase his skills on a global stage while representing the organization.

Plus, when all is said and done, perhaps he'll add a gold medal to his trophy case. At the very least, it should prove a valuable experience for LaVine as a player and person (health provided).

The Tokyo Olympics begin this year on July 23 and run through Aug. 8.

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