This summer, the USA basketball team will look to add another gold medal to its collection in the 2016 Rio games. The United States has won the last two gold medals without losing any games, although the much tougher competition from teams like Spain, Argentina, and Lithuania have made the Americans prepare much more than back when NBA players were first allowed to play in the Olympics.
The USA Basketball committee recently announced the final 30 players that will be given a chance to earn spot on the team that plays in Rio. The players are as follows:
LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); Mike Conley(Memphis Grizzlies); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors);Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay(Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers);LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Klay Thompson(Golden State Warriors); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
A pretty impressive group no doubt. A lot of athleticism and versatility with guys that can play multiple positions. There will be a ton of speed on this team, which will definitely give them an advantage over their opponents. I’m very happy that guys like LeBron, Iguodala, Carmelo, CP3, and Dwight Howard are on the list, because they have played in they are the veterans essentially on this team with a lot of experience in international play. The old weakness of the US (if it was one at all) was that they were pretty small, and against teams like Australia, Lithuania, and Spain, who sport a lot of interior size, that proved to be problematic. No more. With Howard, Aldridge, Cousins, Drummond, Jordan, and Davis among the finalists, the USA should have plenty of big guys to combat against the rest of the world.
At the point guard and wing positions, this will be a very fun group to watch. You have three-point specialists like Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Bradley Beal. There are slashers like Russell Westbrook, Demar DeRozan, and Andre Iguodala. Then there are your all-around guys like Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard. No matter who is chosen, this team will be one to be as feared as much as they already are.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is the man to head this group from the sideline. This is none other than the great Mike Krzyzewski. Known for his ability to manage personalities and bring out the best in his players, there is no one better to get these guys to play for the benefit of the team than Coach K. I cannot wait until August to see this team in action.