For the first time in his NBA career, Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo will be representing the United States at this year’s Olympics in Tokyo and is gearing up for what he’s expecting will be a very busy summer.
Adebayo, who averaged career-highs in points (18.7), assists (5.7), and steals (1.2) throughout 2020-21, admitted to Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang, back in 2019, that being left off of Team USA’s roster motivated him to become a better player. In 2020, Bam made his first All-Star team, and now, as a member of Team USA’s official 12-man roster, he will look to make an immediate impact.
“Bam, we’ve always liked,” USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said earlier this week, per Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. “He’s a young, athletic guy, he can run the court, he’s a shot blocker, he plays above the rim. And so, a young guy like that is very, very important. Everyone has a role, and he has a specific job to do and I’m sure he’ll do it well.”
Bam Adebayo: ‘I’m Always Looking for Something to Motivate Me’
Adebayo joins Tim Hardaway, LeBron James, Alonzo Mourning, and Dwyane Wade on a long list of Heat players who represented Miami at the Olympics.
“I’m always looking for something to motivate me,” Adebayo said, per the Miami Herald. “And half the time, it’s [Udonis Haslem]. But when it comes to accolades like that, yeah, that does motivate me. And I have nothing to do but show it.”
For Bam, 23, this most likely won’t be his first trip to the Olympics — which is, if you’re a Heat fan, a very good thing, especially in regard to recruiting talent to South Beach. When LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh represented Team USA in 2008, the trio agreed years later that their experience in Beijing, China set the wheels in motion for the trio to join forces in Miami.
“It was on the tip of everybody’s tongue,” Bosh said back in 2018, via Yahoo Sports’ Ben Rohrbach. “It started with all of us signing three-year deals instead of five-year deals, just to maintain flexibility. We were looking at it like we needed to remain flexible, and usually, it’s great to lock yourself in… but at the same time in this game, you want to be flexible. You only get so many years to get something out of this game.
“It’s kind of taken on a life of its own now. It’s crazy now, but the game is always going to evolve. It’s always going to change. People just have to change with it.”
Adebayo: ‘That’s part of the Recruiting, You Gotta Figure it Out’
Miami’s ‘Big 3’ captured two titles (2012, 2013) in three consecutive runs to the NBA Finals. And now, could Adebayo, whose improbable run with the Heat fell short against the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals, be heading down a similar path in this year’s Olympics?
“When asked whether he will use his Olympic experience to recruit other stars to join him in Miami,” Chiang wrote. “Adebayo grinned and responded: “I don’t know. That’s part of the recruiting. You gotta figure it out.”
Will Adebayo entice players in Tokyo, this summer, to join him in Miami?
“I might. Or they might ask me,” he said, via the Miami Herald. “It’s my job, to be honest.”
Team USA’s men’s training camp kicks off in Las Vegas, this Tuesday. Their five-game exhibition schedule starts on July 10 against Nigeria.