USA Basketball (@usabasketball) June 27, 2016
This morning, the USA Basketball Olympic team released the official roster for this year’s summer games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Before the official announcement of the roster, there was a lot of speculation as to who would be a part of the team. With stars such as LeBron James, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook opting out of the games, many worried that the team would be unable to continue their dominance on the international stage. Prior to his decision to rest instead of contend in Brazil, James and Paul had been a part of every USA Basketball team since the 2004 games.
So what does this all mean? For starters, a new trio – one headlined by Carmelo Anthony – who looks to become the first men’s basketball player to ever win 3 gold medals – Kevin Durant, and Paul George will lead a group of relative newcomers. As always, Duke University head coach Mike Kryzewski will be calling the shots from the bench, and as long as he’s involved, the USA always has a great shot to win big.
But perhaps what this really means is the obvious: the USA will still likely take home the gold medal.
Many worried with players dropping out due to the Zika virus that the US roster would be depleted. That’s not the case.
An ideal starting five of Kyrie Irving – Jimmy Butler – Kevin Durant – Carmelo Anthony – DeMarcus Cousins is still very much gold medal caliber. Add that to a strong nucleus off of the bench – Kyle Lowry, Draymond Green, Demar DeRozan among others – and the USA is still in pretty good hands.
So don’t worry, USA fans, the gold medal is (probably) coming home.