The American basketball team has taken home the Gold medal 14 times in the Olympics, with Argentina, and the Soviet Union being the only other teams to win Gold medals in the last three decades. However, with the 2016 Olympics just days away, there are some questions surrounding this U.S.A. team.
They will face a strong opposition from Spain, France, and Argentina who’s rosters feature some strong NBA talent:
Spain: Ricky Rubio (Timberwolves), Sergio Rodriguez (76ers), former Trail Blazer/Denver Nugget Rudy Fernandez, Jose Calderon (Lakers), Willy Hernangomez (Knicks), Alex Abrines (Thunder), Nikola Mirotic (Bulls), and Pau Gasol (Spurs).
France: Nicolas Batum (Hornets), Joffrey Lauvergne (Nuggets), Tony Parker (Spurs), Boris Diaw (Jazz), and Rudy Gobert.
Argentina: Luis Scola (Raptors), Manu Ginobili (Spurs), and Nicolas Brussino (Mavericks).
With France in group A, the United States road to gold will be anything but easy.
This years team will only return two players from the 2012 Gold Medalist squad: Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant. LeBron James, who has been a part of the Olympics since 2004, opted out, as did other big names such as: Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. 2016’s team will be one of “Olympic Inexperience”.
However, with Coach K, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant leading the way, they should be just fine. The roster also features four NBA champions in Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Harrison Barnes. That winning experience will surely help this team succeed.
Despite the lack of experience in the Olympics, this will be the United States oldest team since 2000, with the youngest player being the twenty-four year old Kyrie Irving. This team is full of players in their prime, which will mean trouble for their biggest competitors (Spain, Argentina, and France) who all have higher median aged rosters.
The 2016 Olympics should be more entertaining than the two previous Olympics which were largely dominated by the United States, but don’t be surprised if you see much of the same from this year. The simple fact is, that NBA talent, is the best talent there is in the FIBA world, even if some of it is second tier. I don’t see the United States winning any game by less than 10 points, on their way to their third consecutive gold medal.