The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced 15 new sport additions to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Friday, including mixed men's and women's events in swimming, archery, judo, table tennis, and triathlon, and 3×3 basketball for both men and women.
This is great news. The IOC has not yet announced the complete set of rules for Olympic 3×3 basketball, but the official announcement references 10-minute matches with a 12-second shot-clock, played on a half court. No halftime, no quarters, no timeouts. It's a very different style of play from the full-court 5-on-5 basketball Americans are used to, and will test the players in a big way.
No word yet about whether the IOC will allow professional athletes to partake or if Olympic 3-on-3 will be limited amateurs, but the Olympic 5-on-5 competition is here to stay. Will NBA players want to expose themselves (and their brands) to a new style of play?
The 3-on-3 rules sound like they'd be tough to adapt to so quickly after the NBA season ends. It seems more likely that the Olympic 3×3 players will be younger professionals or college players, since speed and adaptiveness will be essential. It could even be 3×3 specialists — guys who don't go pro out of college, but instead go abroad to play in 3×3 leagues.
Check out the top ten plays from the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup U18:
So which Americans could be in line for Olympic 3×3 glory?
These are the guys who made up Team USA 3×3 roster for the 2017 FIBA World Cup:
It's totally possible that the Team USA roster looks a lot like this when the Olympics come around: guys you've never heard of. But let's fantasize a little.
Who do you want to see on the squad? Comment in the comment section below.