Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard has added his name to the list of early verbal commits for Team USA in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“I plan on being a part of that,” Lillard told News.com.au's James McKern during a trip to Sydney. "I plan on playing."
Lillard is the latest NBA superstar to join the early roster alongside Warriors stars Stephen Curry–who was one of the first players to pledge his commitment after Team USA's poor performance at the FIBA World Cup in China – and Draymond Green. Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell also already voiced his desire to play for the team next summer.
After tons of stars pulled out of the recent FIBA World Cup, Team USA finished in seventh for the program's worst finish ever. In light of the disappointing showing, the focus quickly shifted to the Tokyo Olympics and just how Team USA, a perennial powerhouse on the international basketball scene, would bounce back.
Eight countries—including the United States—have qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The remaining four teams will earn berths during qualifying tournaments in July.
After leading Portland to its first Western Conference Finals in 19 years this season, where they fell to the Warriors in a four-game sweep, Lillard agreed to a four-year, $196 million supermax contract extension with Portland that will keep him with the Trail Blazers through the 2024-25 season.
Lillard averaged 25.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game during the 2018-19 season.