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The USA is Sending Another “Dream Team” for the Paris Olympics

After a devastating loss against Canada in the FIBA (Federation Internationale de Basketball) World Cup, the United States Men’s Basketball team is going for redemption in the 2024 Paris Olympics. The FIBA World Cup is a basketball tournament held every four years and hosted by cities throughout the globe. The next World Cup host is Qatar in 2027. 

The United States Men’s basketball team won gold in the last Olympics. They did not compete in 2020 in the inaugural 3×3 basketball competition since the National team failed to qualify for the Olympics. The Women’s team, however, did compete and took gold for the United States. The USA will compete in the 3×3, but star National Basketball Association (NBA) players are not headlined to play this year.

The United States recently released its Dream Team 2.0 roster, with NBA superstars like Stephen Curry, Lebron James, and Kevin Durant playing in the Paris Olympics. Younger stars, including Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, and Jason Tatum, are also on the Olympic roster. The name “Dream Team” originated in 1992 when NBA players were first allowed to play in the Olympics. Before the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, professional players were not allowed to compete. The United States packed its ’92 team with famous NBA athletes such as Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and Magic Johnson.

Players (left to right) are Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, and Charles Barkley posing with the Olympic rings.

The Olympics will be a new experience for some players, with people like Warriors star Stephen Curry competing for the first time. Other first-time Olympians include Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Edwards, and Tyrese Haliburton. Even though many first-time players are on this roster, Team USA is sending its most experienced and oldest team to compete in the Olympics. This team’s average age is 30 years and nine months when the Olympics start. This team is older than the 1992 team, which had an average of 28 years and eight months.

The 2024 Paris Olympics will also be a return for many players. LeBron James and Kevin Durant are coming back for their fourth Olympics. LeBron James played in the Olympics last year in 2012, so we will see how he plays against the younger stars during the games. Kevin Durant played in the previous Olympics and with LeBron in 2012, both times winning gold. He also played  “Captain America,” scoring 29 points, leading the Americans to another gold in the last Olympics. During this Olympics, LeBron James looks forward to winning his fourth gold medal and adding more points to his name in the Olympic competition. Right now, he is 3rd place in the amount of points scored in the Olympics by a United States

player. Ahead of him is teammate Kevin Durant with 435 points in the first and Carmelo Anthony with 336 points in the second. Carmelo Anthony has retired, so LeBron James will likely surpass him, as James is only 63 points behind.

Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, Jrue Holiday, and Devin Booker all played previously in the 2020 Japan Olympics. They will be returning to try to win a second consecutive gold medal this year in Paris, France. Anthony Davis is returning after previous experience in the 2012 Olympics, playing with LeBron the last time winning gold.

Not only are players essential to the success of the United States Basketball team, but coaches will also be a big part. Kerr was part of the 2020 Japan team as an assistant coach and is also known for being the Warriors head coach. He wanted to accept the offer to be the national team’s head coach in December 2021. According to NBC Sports News, Kerr states, “Pop [Greg Popovich] coached a World Cup and the Olympics, now it’s my turn to pass the baton.” The assistant coaches on a team are as important as the main head coach. This year, the USA team includes Erik Spoelstra and Mark Few. Erik Spoelstra is the head coach of the Miami Heat, while Mark Few has been the head coach of Gonzaga University since 1999. Erik Spoelstra is a three-time NBA champion. Next, Mark Few Gonzaga has won 22 regular season league titles and conference tournament championships 19 times.

The US will have serious competition this year, and other nations worldwide will play their NBA stars in the tournament. Star players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander playing for Canada, Wembanyama for France, Jokić for Serbia, and Luka Dončić for Slovenia will make the competition harder. Germany won the 2023 FIBA World Cup, while the USA national team failed to medal and came fourth place. These players make the opposition of the USA team in this Olympics a challenge to defeat, so it’ll be no cakewalk. Some of the newly added players to the USA national team are three guards (a position in basketball where they run the offense and usually are the team’s best dribbler and passer): Anthony Edwards, Stephen Curry, and Tyrese Haliburton. They all have NBA experience, as Anthony Edwards plays for the Timberwolves, Curry plays for the Golden State Warriors, and Tyrese Haliburton plays for the Indiana Pacers.

With all the new talent and previous Olympians on the team, will Team USA go all the way to win five straight gold medals? Viewers worldwide will see how they do against the rest of the world. The Olympics will be aired from July 26 to August 11. “Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communiter” means “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together.” Team USA must practice these four things to win the Olympics, hopefully.

Sources:

2024 Olympic basketball roster for Paris led by LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry – NBC Sports 

2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Announced
3×3 Basketball 101: U.S. Olympic roster and player news

The Origin Story of D

ream Team I

Paris 2024 Olympics – Latest News, Schedules & Results 

LeBron James – USA Basketball 

Steve Kerr – USA Basketball

What is the Olympic motto?

https://library.sportingnews.com/2021-08/dream-team-usa-basketball_54mx7huvjcbl1uc65r60008lv.jpg

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Philip Gani, Staff Writer
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