U.S. men's basketball team places Bulls star Zach LaVine in health and safety protocols

Jeff Zillgitt

U.S. men’s basketball player Zach LaVine will not travel with team to Tokyo on Monday and has been placed in USA Basketball’s health and safety protocols.

USA Basketball said it’s “out of an abundance of caution” that LaVine won’t travel with the team, and the hope is he can rejoin the team later this week. LaVine, who stars for the Chicago Bulls, had 13 points in Sunday’s exhibition game against Spain.

Just eight players will make the trip on Monday as the Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker and Milwaukee Bucks' Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are still playing in the NBA Finals.

Team USA's Zach LaVine dunks against Spain during an exhibition game.

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The USA opens Olympic group play against France on Sunday and then plays Iran on July 28 and the Czech Republic on July 31. USA Basketball men’s senior team director Jerry Colangelo hopes the time between games gives the full roster time to find some chemistry before the quarterfinals on Aug. 3.

The men’s team already lost Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal to health and safety protocols, and he was replaced by San Antonio’s Keldon Johnson, who had 15 points against Spain. Kevin Love withdrew because of a calf injury, and he was replaced by JaVale McGee.

COVID guidelines for athletes before arriving in Tokyo:

  • Athletes are expected to monitor their symptoms for the 14 days before they are to arrive in Tokyo.
  • If any athlete experiences any symptoms of COVID-19 in the 14 days before arrival, they should not travel to Japan. They must also inform their COVID liaison officer and consult with a medical professional for next steps.
  • Every U.S. athlete must have two negative COVID tests, done on separate days, within 96 hours of departure. One of those tests has to be within 72 hours of departure.
  • If a COVID-19 test is positive, the athlete must immediately begin self-isolation in line with local rules and contact their COVID liaison officer, who will record symptoms, test results and close contacts, as well as inform Tokyo officials and agree on next steps.

Contributing: Nancy Armour