When it comes to Olympic basketball teams, the 1992 Dream Team is the Gold standard, and the 2008 Redeem Team is the Silver standard. Could this year’s team take over as the gold or silver standard? In a word, no. In a statement, it’ll likely be the Bronze standard. All play on medals aside, this team doesn’t stack up to either team but it’s no joke.
This team could’ve been much better but we’ll be without an impressive list of players including Lebron James, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Anthony Davis. But this American team is still easily the best in the world, dominating friendlies. We still boast an impressive roster of 12 great players: Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Demarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Demar Derozan, Kyle Lowry, Deandre Jordan, Harrison Barnes, and a Redeem Team player in Carmelo Anthony. This team might be the most well known because of media coverage, from forward Draymomd Green accidentally posting an explicit photo to his Snapchat story, to a humorous Internet video of Carmelo looking not so happy with the team’s sing along, to the refusal to stay in the Olympic Village because of the Zika virus.
But will this team be remembered by their play? It’s easy to say they won’t surpass the Dream Team, as there were at least three players on the Dream Team that are in the conversation for greatest of all time. Eleven of twelve players on the Dream Team were NBA Hall of Famers. Ten of those players were named to the NBA’s Top 50 Greatest Players list, and let’s not forget, their average margin of victory was 43.4 points a game, if that doesn’t inspire American pride I don’t know what does.
While most people would use the 2012 team as a standard, I’m using the Redeem Team. The Redeem Team was the 2008 team, and in 2004 we only won a Bronze medal. Anything less than gold is unacceptable. That’s why it’s called the Redeem Team. This team came in inspired to Redeem us for our failure in 2004.
They won by an average margin of 27.9 points per game and largely only used 6 players. They blew to the finals and won a classic against Spain. This team gets props for redeeming us and for being fairly dominant. They hold a high standard for this years team.
This years team may stack up with the Redeem Team. It will be hard especially with a less star studded team. No team will surpass the Dream Team. I admire this team, but the other two were better in my opinion.