The men’s basketball Olympic Roster has just been announced! The team will be defending its Olympic Gold Medal from the 2008 Beijing games. The 12-man roster includes five players from the last Olympic run including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony. The team will also include five players from the FIBA Tournament in 2010 including Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Andre Iguodala, Tyson Chandler, (the defensive player of the year in last years NBA season) and, most importantly, reigning scoring champ of the NBA, Kevin Durant. Blake Griffin and James Harden, international league newbies, were also added. Overall, the team is a versatile group with a wide range of strengths.
This year’s roster is very different from previous Olympic games. Tyson is acting as the only center for the team. In addition, the US is going to play without Dwyane Wade, their leading scorer from 2008, and other huge contributors Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh all due to injuries.
Things have changed tremendously since the 1992 dream team (including Jordan, Bird, and Magic) was formed and proceeded to win by an average of 43.8 points per game. With basketball growing throughout the rest of the world, the team will have some tough competition. Almost all of the countries competing in this year’s tournament have current and former NBA players. Back in 2008, the gold medal game against Spain was surprisingly close. However, the US pulled away in the home stretch and went home with a 118 to 107 victory.
This year Spain is going to be another big test for the US, with the seven-foot tall brothers of Pau and Marc Gasol returning trying to make a run at gold. Additionally, Tony Parker will be key for France, as well as Manu Ginobili for Argentina. An exhibition game will take place in Las Vegas against the Dominican Republic July 12th and the first game of the Olympics will be against France on July 29th.
Will you be tuning in?
Written by Guest Blogger, Matt Goldberg