Olympics

Tokyo Olympics: Five must-watch players in men's basketball at the Olympic Games

With the NBA season in the rearview, the focus now shifts to the Olympic Games with a host of NBA players suiting up for their countries.

Team USA is out to win their fourth consecutive gold medal, but there's plenty of other countries led by NBA stars looking to take their national teams to the top.

Ahead of the opening day of the competition, here's five players that are must-watch in Tokyo.

Kevin Durant, Team USA

The best player at the Games and the most accomplished on the international stage with two gold medals to his name, Kevin Durant will lead Team USA in Tokyo.

Durant has been named USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year twice and holds a 39-0 record in FIBA competitions and led Team USA in scoring at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

MORE: Which is the greatest Team USA ever assembled?

Coming off a mixed exhibition series in Las Vegas, where they went 2-2, suffering losses to Nigeria and Australia, Durant is confident their warm-ups have put them in a good place ahead of the Games, re-focusing the team ahead of official competition.

"I feel like we're understanding what coach wants from us on both ends of the floor," Durant said.

"I feel like guys are getting more comfortable with each other and their roles on the team and that's only gonna go well for us as we start to play real games so it was good to kind of get a punch in the mouth early on to remind us that it's not gonna be a cakewalk and so many people are used to Team USA coming in and blowing everybody out so it was good for us to see that and hopefully those are the last losses."

Patty Mills, Australia

There's just something about Patty Mills when he pulls on the green and gold jersey.

As the Boomers' primary option on offence, Mills transforms into a scoring machine for the Aussies, continually coming up with clutch shots down the stretch.

Playing at his fourth Olympic Games, the flag bearer for the Australian Olympic Team leads one of the most talented Boomers rosters ever as they look to win their first ever medal at a major international tournament, coming off consecutive fourth-place finishes at the Rio 2016 Games and the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

"We are very focused and have our head in the sand [concentrating] on what we're trying to achieve here," Mills said.

"And that's a gold medal."

Luka Doncic, Slovenia

Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic will grace the Olympic stage for the first time after dragging Slovenia into their first-ever Olympic Games appearance.

In the 96-85 win, Doncic recorded a monster triple-double with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists and was named MVP of the Olympic qualifying tournament.

"I don't care about the MVP," Doncic said. "We won here. We're going to the Olympics, the first time in our country. It's amazing. I think every kid dreams about being in the Olympics. I did, too. So, here we are. We fought really, really hard and I think we deserve to be here."

They face a tough road in Group C, drawn alongside Argentina, Spain and hosts Japan, but don't be surprised if Doncic can help his country pull off a miracle in Tokyo and make a deep run.

PREVIEW: Examining each roster ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games

The Gasol Brothers, Spain

How could we pick one of the other?

In what will likely be their last appearance in a Spain jersey, Pau, aged 41 and Marc, aged 36 have been the backbone of Spain's golden generation, alongside Ricky Rubio, Victor Claver, Rudy Fernandez and co.

Through their glittering careers, the Gasol brothers have gotten close to bringing Spain their first ever gold medal, finishing second twice in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

After lifting the 2019 FIBA World Cup, is this the year Spain breaks through at the Olympics in what would be a fitting farewell to two of international basketball's greats?

Facundo Campazzo, Argentina

Facundo Campazzo

Most of the oohs and ahhs in the men's basketbal competition come from Team USA's highlight-reel play, but Argentine point guard Facundo Campazzo has a bag of his own.

The dominutive Denver Nuggets playmaker, known as "El Mago" which is Spanish for "The Magician," is almost guaranteed to deliver a play that makes you hit the rewind button, whether it be a behind-the-back dime, a crafty no-look pass or a pesky defensive play.

Shoutout to Argentina veteran Luis Scola, who is appearing at his fifth Olympics Games. The 41-year-old previously won gold at Athens in 2004 and is the lone player from that squad remaining on the roster.

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