Lets be honest, no matter what competions the USA basketball team participates in, they are the number 1 favorite for the gold medal. Looking at the list of the 30 players that will contend for the 12 final spots that will represent the USA during the Olympics, we can only say that coach Mike Krzyzewksy will have a hard time this summer deciding which 12 players to pick.
Klay Thompson, when asked about the strength of the USA team, said: „We can send 3 All-star teams to Rio.“ Thomspon himself is questionable for making the roster, because he will have to fight for a final spot with some of the biggest superstars in todays basketball, among which are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and others who play at his position. If LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are among the final 12 players, they would be the first Americans to play in four Olympics.
Opposite of Thompsons statement is Jerry Colangelos oppinion, the USA Basketball chairman, who stated: „ The USA will not send 12 All-stars to the Olympics,“ which means that they will leave some superstars at home, and bring some players that can cover more positions and do the dirty work.
One of those players certainly might be the 6’7″ „triple double machine“ Draymond Green from the defending champions Golden State Warriors. Green who is undersized at the PF position, can do it all, from scoring, rebounding and assisting, plus his range shooting has significantly improved. He can contribute to the overall team play in many ways, and therefore he is considered to be one of the players with a reserved spot for the Olypmics.
Another player that could cover multiple positions is the San Antonio Spurs PF Kawhi Leonard, who has become the go to guy and the offensive force of the Spurs franchise. Kawhi is playing exceptionaly this season averaging 20.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.5 apg and teams best 1.8 spg in only 32 mpg.
No matter what the final 12 players list looks like, I am sure that the USA basketball team will, once again, be a dominant force and go after the gold medal. Especially since this will be the last competition with Mike Krzyzewsky as the head coach of the USA basketball team, since the new head coach from the 2017 is going to be the San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich.
Words by: Admir Aljic