Damian Lillard discussed why he was eager to play for USA Basketball at the Tokyo Olympics, including the opportunity to play under Gregg Popovich.
“Pop being the coach of the national team played a big role in my decision to commit,” Lillard said. “I have a lot of respect for Pop as a coach and as a person. I look forward to playing for him, taking in his basketball knowledge and seeing what our team can do.”
USA Basketball is expected to finalize a 12-player roster by the end of this month, with training camp in Vegas beginning July 6.
The U.S. opens against France on July 25.
Lillard added that he was inspired by the 2008 "Redeem Team" that featured the likes of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.
“I remember watching the Redeem Team and it looked so fun. So many stars on one team being able to just play together unselfishly and have fun. That team connected basketball with the best players in the world. It just looked like a great time and they looked so free of their normal responsibility on their NBA teams. I became very interested in USAB because of that."