Spurs’ Johnson: ‘I’m blessed and honored to be an Olympian’

The Summer of 2021 could be special times for Spurs F Keldon Johnson. On Friday, Johnson was named to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball roster.

Johnson, along with JaVale McGee, were named to the Team USA roster after Kevin Love decided to withdraw from the Olympics and Bradley Beal being unable to play due to health and safety protocols.

The 21-year-old Johnson is the third player in San Antonio franchise history to be named to the U.S. Olympic team after playing for the Spurs, joining David Robinson (1992, 1996) and Tim Duncan (2004). He also becomes the 32nd player in Spurs history to suit up for San Antonio and represent their country at the Olympics.

“I’m blessed and honored to be an Olympian,” Johnson said to reporters via a Zoom call on Friday. 

Originally named to the 2021 USA Basketball Select Team on July 1, Johnson participated in the national team’s training camp in Las Vegas and played in two exhibition games, averaging 5.5 points and 2.5 rebounds against Australia and Argentina.

Being around many great players will be very beneficial to Johnson, which he discussed on Friday.

“I’m definitely learning something new every day,” he said. “I feel like I’m around a lot of great players and some of the best players in the league, so just if I don’t understand something, asking questions. Just seeing things that they do different than what I would do. Just learning from it and putting my own spin on it. I think just being around these guys and being able to go and compete against them in practice and then play with them in a game really is teaching me a lot about basketball.”

In his second season with the Spurs, Johnson averaged 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 28.5 minutes in being named to the 2021 NBA Rising Stars Roster. He became the first player in his first two seasons to average at least 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds since Duncan in 1998-99.

Team USA, coached by Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, will compete in the Summer Olympic Games from July 23 through Aug. 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

Listen below as Johnson reacts to joining Team USA:


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