The United States men's basketball team has no choice but to move forward after the news Bradley Beal was ruled out for the Tokyo Olympics after entering COVID-19 health and safety protocols. They just lost their starting shooting guard, but still hope to win a gold medal.
And if they do win a medal, Draymond Green hopes Beal receives one. Beal played in three exhibition games and, given all the circumstances at hand, deserves one in Green's opinion.
"The experience, the opportunity to represent your country is one we all dream about growing up. To see that opportunity taken away, you can only sympathize with Brad and hope that, in understanding what has taken place over the course of the last 17-18 months, that if we can accomplish our ultimate goal which is to go out and win a gold medal, you hope he still gets that gold medal because he did make the commitment to this team and to this country," Green said.
There was a lot of detail in that answer from Green. He mentions the last 17-to-18 months, alluding to the unusual circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 has forced sports leagues to dramatically change how they operate in the past year-and-a-half. The upcoming Olympics, for instance, was originally scheduled for last summer before being postponed.
In some professional sports leagues, it is commonplace for players to get championship rings if they played for teams that went on to win titles after they got injured, or even after they left the team in a trade or a release. Sometimes players leave one team and join another, and then those teams meet in the final round, in some cases ensuring the player will earn a ring win or loss.
For Beal, however, there is no specific precedent. This is the first Olympics being held during a pandemic during the lifetimes of anyone involved.
The U.S. also has to now medal without Beal, which won't be easy. They are 1-2 in the exhibition schedule so far with losses to Nigeria and Australia. They beat Argentina on Tuesday, but in part due to Beal scoring a game-high 17 points.