Will Anyone Be Able To Compete With Team USA At The 2012 Summer Olympics?
Before we knew exactly which players would be in consideration for the team, we already knew that Team USA would be pretty incredible this year. With guys like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul rumored to be on the team, there’s already been talk about this team being better than the “Dream Team” that represented the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. But, is that really a fair comparison to make? Well, now that we’ve finally taken a look at the 20 finalists for the team, all we have to say is…Yes.
So, how could a team possibly compete with a team full of guys like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and other legendary NBA players? By going out and inviting the best of the best to play in the Olympics. The 20 finalists include guards Wade, Paul, Bryant, Deron Williams, Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook, Chauncey Billups, and Derrick Rose, forwards James, Anthony, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, Kevin Durant, Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin, Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Love, and centers Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler. It’s a solid crop of players.
Dream Team comparisons aside, we have to ask: Is there going to be anyone in the world that can compete with this squad? On paper, no. Granted, only 12 of these players will make the final roster and head coach Mike Krzyzewski will have to take a very close look at several of these guys, including Billups and Odom, to see if they really deserve a spot on the team. However, this is the deepest U.S. team talent-wise since 1992. All of these guys are also super committed to Team USA and the concept of going for gold, meaning Coach K should have no problem getting them to play hard at the Olympics. In fact, the only glaring weakness they have right now is at the center position. If Howard gets into foul trouble, the team may struggle to defend some teams in the paint.
C’mon, though. After reading the list of the guys who’ve been invited to tryout for the team and thinking about the potential lineups that Coach K can throw together (Rose, Bron, Durant, D-Wade, and Howard?!), we’ve gotta believe that Team USA is going to be hard, if not damn-near impossible, to stop at the Olympics this summer. And while we’ve got plenty of NBA basketball to play before that time, we’re already excited about the prospect of watching the U.S. team bring home the gold again this summer. Sooooooo…is it August yet?