With the Olympics approaching in a few weeks countries are getting all their teams prepared to head to the games and show the world how good they are. For the United States basketball team their gold-medal mindset has just begun as they have finalized its roster to send to London. USA head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and his supporting staff have filled their 12-man roster with Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, and James Harden making the last three spots on the team. The USA has been dominating in the Olympics and have been a International powerhouse boosting the best ranking in the world with 13 gold medals, a full 11 more than second place Soviet Union.
In the 2008 Beijing Olympics the USA team labeled “The redeem team” showed off how talented they were as the went on to capture the gold medal by defeating Spain. Though the 2008 squad was thought of as one of the best USA Olympic teams (behind the dream team of course) this years team may even be better. With star veterans like Lebron, Kobe, and Carmelo back for team USA the team has guaranteed leadership. Although team USA has several players that can step up to leadership roles at any given time, the one thing team USA could use is more depth at the center position. With former Olympic standouts Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh not on the roster, the team may be slightly venerable at the big man position, Tyson Chandler will look to hold his own when it comes competition time.
Even though the team lacks centers one thing the team definitely has is outstanding speed and versatility with a roster full of young NBA superstars ready to shine at the Olympics.
“It’s going to take some practices, and exhibition games, but we have a lot of guys in our prime and we have a lot of young guys that are hungry who are always looking forward to a challenge.” USA Forward Lebron James said in a statement.
The official USA roster looks like this; the guards will be Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Chris Paul, Russel Westbrook, and Deron Williams. Forwards include Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, Lebron James, and Kevin Love. The center will be Tyson Chandler.
The coaching staff is made up of two college coaches Mike Krzyzewski(Duke University) and Jim Boeheim(Syracuse University), and two former NBA coaches Nate McMillan(Portland Trailblazers), Mike D’Antoni(New York Knicks).
“We have much more depth, much more talent than we had in ‘08 when I look at this roster versus that roster, I’ll put this team up against anyone.” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Coangelo said in a statement.
The team will have 5 exhibition games before they start their Olympic journey to gold. The first exhibition game will be played on Thursday July 12 against the Dominican Republic on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. The team will play one more game in the United States when they play Brazil on Monday July 16 in Washington DC. After that the team will travel to Manchester, England to play Great Britain on Thursday July 19, they will then travel to Barcelona, Spain to play Argentina on Sunday July 22, and Spain on Tuesday July 24 to finish their exhibition games.
The USA will begin Olympic play on Sunday July 29 at 2:30 pm when they play France.
“We feel like we’re definitely a great team we have all the pieces that we need we’ve got to put it together, but we feel like we’re the best team out there.” USA forward Carmelo Anthony said.
Team USA Roster Announced
George Smith on Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala and James Harden being selected to final three roster spots on Team USA.
2012 USA Olympic Basketball Team
The Final Roster for the 2012 USA Olympic Men’s Basketball Team
Kobe Bryant, Lakers
James Harden, Thunder
Chris Paul, Clippers
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Deron Williams, Nets
Carmelo Anthony, Knicks
Kevin Durant, Thunder
Blake Griffin, Clippers
Andre Iguodala, 76ers
LeBron James, Heat
Kevin Love, Timberwolves
Tyson Chandler, Knicks
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