Popovich knows filling US Olympic roster may be a challenge

FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2019, file photo, U.S. coach Gregg Popovich talks to players before a Group E match against the Czech Republic in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Shanghai. Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs, knows that the NBA schedule and how it comes very close to the start of the rescheduled Tokyo Games will be a challenge for USA Basketball to navigate next year when choosing the 12 players who will try to win a fourth consecutive mens Olympic gold medal. Popovich will be head coach of the Olympic team for the first time. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2019, file photo, U.S. coach Gregg Popovich talks to players before a Group E match against the Czech Republic in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Shanghai. Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs, knows that the NBA schedule and how it comes very close to the start of the rescheduled Tokyo Games will be a challenge for USA Basketball to navigate next year when choosing the 12 players who will try to win a fourth consecutive mens Olympic gold medal. Popovich will be head coach of the Olympic team for the first time. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Game 7 of the 2021 NBA Finals, as of now, would be played on July 22.

The opening cermony of the Tokyo Olympics, as of now, would be the next day.

And when presented with this potential scheduling conundrum, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich — who will coach USA Basketball men’s national team at the next Olympics — came up with a very quick, very lighthearted solution.

“I don’t think we’re going to let the finals go seven games,” Popovich said.

All jokes aside, Popovich knows that the NBA schedule and how it comes very close to the start of the rescheduled Tokyo Games will be a challenge for USA Basketball to navigate next year when choosing the 12 players who will try to win a fourth consecutive men’s Olympic gold medal.

Popovich will be head coach of the Olympic team for the first time, succeeding Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“The Olympics is always on my mind, just as Coach K told me it would be,” Popovich said Tuesday. “You can’t get away from it. So, this scenario, as it stands right now, does seem problematic in the sense that organizing things and figuring out who’s going to be part of the team is yet to be determined.”

There is a plan. As with everything else in a coronavirus world, it’s tentative, but there is a plan.