I can already hear the Olympic theme song in my head. The 2012 London games are right around the corner and while basketball isn’t the thing I look forward to most about the Olympic games, it sure is exciting. The 20 finalists for the USA basketball roster were announced, and it’s definitely a talented group of players despite no player from the San Antonio Spurs being named.
A few weeks ago, LeBron James said the 2012 team is going to matchup with the original Dream Team. I criticized him for making a statement like that because no team will ever be what the Dream Team was, but the 2012 team will certainly have a ton of talent. Going down the list of 20, it looks nearly impossible to narrow it down to 12. The good news is, no matter who gets picked, the team is going to be stacked from the starters all the way down the bench.
"Aside from the obvious special basketball talents that all of these players possess, what struck me most about the finalists was their commitment to USA Basketball and the international basketball experience they have compiled,” said Coach Mike Krzyzewski. “Among our 20 finalists, we have two players who possess 55 or more games of international experience, two with 40 or more international games under their belts and eight others who have played between 23 and 38 international games – that’s a lot of experience, which is going to be extremely valuable. These players have helped restore the winning tradition of USA Basketball while also gaining the respect of people around the world for the manner in which they have done it.”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and go ahead and predict a gold medal for this team. I think even if the Olympic basketball tournament came down to this roster playing against a combination of all the best international players it would be a good game, let alone playing the countries individually.
I always enjoy watching players who usually battle against each other on the court come together to accomplish something for their country. It’s time to start getting excited for Olympic basketball!