As the world prepares for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most anticipated sports is that of basketball. The teams from different countries are built with strength and talent from their home leagues and even the NBA. Well, Team USA is built strictly of NBA players and here is everything you need to know about the squad that hopes to bring home another gold.
Some may think that it’s unfair for Team USA to use NBA talent for its roster at the Olympic games, but why shouldn’t they? Just like other countries, they are simply taking the most talented players available and putting them together to try and win the highest medal possible.
With that being said, it does seem almost unfair that this much talent can be brought together in one place, but it’s how things work out.
Some of the greatest athletes in the world have been collected together in one place and on one team. Their plan is to win the entire tournament and prove that this Team USA men’s basketball team is as great as some of those from the past. They may win a gold medal, but are they as good as the “Dream Team” from 1992?
Here is the Team USA men’s basketball roster for the 2016 Olympics in Rio from the official website of the team:
- #4 – Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)
- #5 – Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)
- #6 – DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
- #7 – Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
- #8 – Harrison Barnes (Dallas Mavericks)
- #9 – DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
- #10 – Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- #11 – Klay Thompson – (Golden State Warriors)
- #12 – DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
- #13 – Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
- #14 – Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
- #15 – Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
A number of big names are noticeably absent from this list and some of them could not be helped. Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans was set to be on the roster, but as Deadline reported in March, the big man was going to have surgery on his knee and would need to miss the tournament.
USA Today reported in late June that LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers had been on the fence about playing on Team USA, but opted out.
Also, when asked he planned to play for U.S. at Rio Olympics, LeBron James said, “I don’t think so.”
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) June 22, 2016
Team USA men’s basketball squad is led by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has put together a great coaching staff with Jim Boeheim, Tom Thibodeau, and Monty Williams. They have little doubt with this roster and believe a gold medal is achievable even without James, Davis, Chris Paul, and others.
As shown on NBC Olympics, the preliminary round for men’s basketball is split into two groups: Group A and Group B. Here is how they are split up:
Group A – Australia, China, France, Serbia, USA, Venezuela
Group B – Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Lithuania, Nigeria, Spain
The preliminary round begins on this Saturday, August 6, and will continue August 15 at which point, four teams from each group will advance. Those with the best records will move on to the quarterfinals to compete for the semifinals, Bronze Medal game, and Gold Medal game.
Here is the full schedule for Team USA men’s basketball as reported by ESPN:
- Team USA vs. China – 6 p.m. EDT, August 6
- Team USA vs. Venezuela – 6 p.m. EDT, August 8
- Team USA vs. Australia – 6 p.m. EDT, August 10
- Team USA vs. Serbia – 6 p.m. EDT, August 12
- Team USA vs. France – 1:15 p.m. EDT, August 14
If they make it out of the preliminary round, the other rounds will go as follows:
Quarterfinals – August 17, Times TBD
- A1 vs. B4
- A2 vs. B3
- B1 vs. A4
- B2 vs. A3
Semifinals – August 19, Times TBD
- Winner A1/B4 vs. Winner A3/B2
- Winner A4/B1 vs. Winner A2/B3
Bronze Medal Game – August 21, 10:30 a.m. EDT
- Semifinals 1 Loser vs. Semifinals 2 Loser
Gold Medal Game – August 21, 2:45 p.m. EDT
- Semifinals 1 Winner vs. Semifinals 2 Winner
At the 2012 Olympics, Team USA did win the gold medal over Spain in men’s basketball, with Russia coming in third place.
Team USA men’s basketball team is the favorite to take home the gold medal in the tournament in the 2016 Olympics. Seeing as how Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan, and the rest of the roster have targets on them, they’re also going to get the best that every country has to offer. Now, fans know the schedule and how to keep track of everything that happens in the race for basketball gold in Rio.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]