Both the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the NBA 2019-2020 season were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Olympics has been rescheduled to start on July 23, 2021, meaning that the USA Basketball team will have to play without NBA players.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is strongly implying that the NBA 2020-21 season will start in January 2021. The current season is only coming to an end, and if the NBA Finals go on without a hitch, a new NBA champion will be crowned in the next two or three weeks.

By mid-October, the NBA can begin its off-season activities such as the NBA Draft and the reshuffling of their rosters. If it was just that, the NBA could theoretically start a new season by December, but that is not the case.

The coronavirus pandemic is still ravaging across the USA. The NBA will need to take both league members and fans' safety into consideration and take the necessary steps to ensure it.

Commissioner Silver also plans to complete an 82-game season and the playoffs for the "2021" season. That would mean that the NBA will be in full swing by July 2021.

If that is the case, it's unlikely that their teams would release their players at the tail end of the 2021 regular season when games really matter. The last 10 games of the regular season are especially fierce since teams are competing for playoff spots.

According to Yardbarker, it will be a problem for Team USA if the players who previously committed to play would be unavailable due to the new schedule.

But the NBA is no longer an American league. The current league MVP is Greek, and there are plenty of other NBA superstars that are not Americans. Their countries expect them to play for them in the upcoming Olympics, but it will become a problem if it conflicts with the NBA schedule.

If NBA teams do not release their players to participate in the Olympics, the Olympics itself would not showcase the best players in world basketball. Many of those players, Americans or other nationalities, are going to be stuck playing in the NBA.

The Tokyo 2020 Games has been postponed
The Tokyo 2020 Games has been postponed a year because of the coronavirus, but there are persistent questions about whether the delay will be sufficient. Photo: AFP / Charly TRIBALLEAU