Coach Hitler, I mean Krzyzewski and his assistants picked the final pieces of the Team USA Basketball squad today, adding James Harden, Blake Griffin, and Andre Iguodala. They will be joined by LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Tyson Chandler, and Kevin Love. Together they will try to repeat as Gold Medal winners in this years London Olympics.
By the way, how awesome has it been since NBA players have been allowed to take part in the Olympics?
See children, before the 1992 Dream Team, college players took the floor when it came to playing basketball in the Olympics. If you did it these days one example would be having Creighton's Doug McDermott, a very solid college basketball player, on Team USA rather than somebody like, say...... KOBE FUCKING BRYANT.
But it was still cool, because it was basketball, and if you were a major college hoop fan like myself you knew who the players were that you were cheering for, but you also knew that if NBA players were allowed to participate that Team USA would tear every other nation a new asshole.
In the 92 Barcelona Olympics, the Dream Team stepped on the floor with a starting five of Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing. They beat their opponents by an average of 44 points per game. For the other teams it was like that scene in Watchmen where The Comedian and Dr Manhattan are in Vietnam, fuckin' every body up. (Warning: Violence)
Team USA appeared unbeatable, like forever. But then something happened, the other nations didn't cower, they became inspired by seeing the greatness of what the highest level of basketball can be. Then they started beating us from time to time (how sweet would that have felt?), then eventually, kicking our ass from time to time. So the world got better at basketball, a lot better. And now it's definitely necessary that Team USA is chosen wisely, when before we would just pretty much throw the best 12 guys on the team and treat it like a Harlem Globetrotters game.
So, without further delay, here are highlights of each player, starting with the guards:
Kobe Bryant, Lakers
Kobe at one time was my least favorite player in the league. Over time he has won me over with his relentlessness and drive to be the best. That man is COOOOLD BLOODED!
Next up - James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder)