Zach LaVine won’t travel with Team USA to Tokyo yet after going into safety protocols


United States’ Zach LaVine plays against Australia during an exhibition basketball game Monday, July 12, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS – As athletes start heading to Japan for the Summer Olympic Games over the next few days, Zach LaVine will have to stay back for now.

On Monday, Team USA Basketball announced that the Bulls’ guard has been placed in health and safety protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and won’t travel with the team to Tokyo immediately.

However, LaVine hasn’t been ruled out for the games, and the team said in a statement that they expect the 2021 All-Star to join the team later in the week.

The guard will represent the United States for the first time on the Olympics stage in 2021 and was doing well in the pre-Olympic exhibition games in Las Vegas. LaVine played on Sunday night in the team’s final tune-up before the Tokyo games against Spain, scoring 13 points with two rebounds and two assists in just under 22 minutes of play.

Team USA will open Group A play on Sunday against France at 7 AM CST in Saitama, Japan.

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