The game suffered a major transformation back in 1992 when the Olympics committee decided to allow NBA players to compete with their national team. From that moment on, U.S.A. had 7 national teams participating at the Olympic Games including the one in Rio 2016.
Five out of six teams came back home with gold medals and the 2016 team with Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green and Kyrie Irving among others stands a good chance in doing the same. However, the one team that came back with bronze medals is not the worst U.S. basketball team that ever participated at the Olympics. Any idea what team ranked last? Check out the list below to find out.
The 1992 squad – the Dream Team
With Johnson, David Robinson, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing and Christian Laettner sharing the same rooster, what more could you expect? The Dream Team didn’t get their name out for nothing and it featured one of the rarest talents that ever participated at the Olympics.
The 2012 squad
Tyson Chandler and Anthony Davis playing center combined with LeBron, Kobe, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala playing at the top of their game as a team and bringing home the gold medal.
This was a power line-up that went through some great performances at the 2012 Olympics in London.
The 1996 squad
Filling in the shoes of the Dream Team is without a doubt a hard thing to do but the 1996 Olympic squad did manage to bring home the gold medals. With players like Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Hill and Karl Malone in the roster, the Dream Team 2 did an incredible job to win the gold medals after the original Dream Team.
The 2016 squad
With a powerful line-up including Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan, the 2016 squad shouldn’t have any problems to win the gold medals in Rio. Their game will be far from legendary but the team will most likely dominate their competition.
The games that already passed were indeed some clear proof for that matter.
The 2008 squad
The 2008 squad, also known as “The Redeem Team” re-established U.S.A.’s dominance in basketball by winning gold medals in Beijing after the 2004 team failed to do so. With Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Jason Kidd and Carlos Boozer and Dwight Howard among others, the team managed to bring back the most precious medals after the previous team won bronze medals.
The 2004 squad
This is the one team that didn’t bring home the gold medals. Super talented players like Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan and Lamar Odom failed to rise up to previous teams and it seems like Larry Brown was simply not able to get everyone on the same page.
However, the 2004 squad was a good rising point for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony so they still get some points for that.
The 2000 squad
The 2000 squad had players like Ray Allen, Vince Carter and Kevin Garnett but still gets the last spot in our top despite winning gold medals. The reason why this happens is because Team USA had no real opponent to play with in Sydney.
The team competed before the rest of the world had any serious squads to put up against U.S. and the overall quality of the game was the one to suffer the most.