Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Las Vegas, NV–
Today is the day when the USA Basketball team will give fans a chance to see what this team is all about for Rio. While there are some notable NBA players missing with championship names like Curry and James, this current team on exhibition for the next two weeks is about to show they are out for gold and it starts with a match-up tonight against Argentina at the T Mobile Arena.
Everyone wants a Dream Team again, but key players like Carmelo Anthony know that this team has its strengths and hopes that it will not be a repeat of previous years when the team has fallen short of expectations.
“In ’04, we had two weeks to put that team together, go to Greece and play and try to win a gold medal,” Anthony said earlier this week. “It didn’t work.
“We had a weird group of guys on that team, guys that didn’t know each other, guys that were young and coming into the league, and it didn’t work.”
Since losing to Greece in 2006, Team USA has gone on to win all five major tournaments it’s played in – the 2007 FIBA Americas, the 2008 and ’12 Olympics and 2010 and ’14 world championships – without losing another game. And, in the process, the Team USA program has become a juggernaut of success with no end to its dominance in sight.
So what are the key additions to this team that could help win it all in Rio this Summer? Six players on this year’s Olympic team – Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, Klay Thompson, Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins – began their involvement with Team USA by participating with the select team. This is something new for an Olympic team to have this kind of experience off the NBA courts and it should make a convincing difference when they head to Rio.