The United States takes the NBA All Stars to the Paris Games, with LeBron James at the helm | Paris 2024 Olympic Games

The gold medal of the men’s basketball competition at the Paris Olympic Games almost has an owner. The United States has decided to select the best available team, full of stars. If it is not the best possible team in the NBA, it is because some of the best players in the best basketball league in the world are not Americans. The team, with the legendary LeBron James at the helm, is practically an All Star selection excluding foreigners. Steve Kerr, the coach, will have a choice to revalidate the gold achieved in 2021 in Tokyo. The selection is perhaps the most talented since Dream Team of 1992.

The list of names says almost everything for basketball fans: LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers ), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Jrue Holiday (Boston Celtics) and Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers ).

In the last NBA All-Star Game, five of those players were starters in the East or West. The only American of the two quintets who has not made the selection is Damian Lillard. And the only one of the 12 on the national team who was not selected for the All Star is Jrue Holiday.

There are three veterans who are in the final phase of their careers after having proven everything. For LeBron James, 39, it will be his fourth Games. He won a bronze medal in 2004 and achieved gold in 2008 and 2012. For Stephen Curry, 36, it will be his first Games, although he has two World Cup gold medals. Durant, 35, can make history by becoming the first basketball player to win four gold medals, after those from the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Games. He is now tied at three with Carmelo Anthony. Tatum, Booker, Holiday, Davis and Adebayo also have a gold medal each. Embiid, who chose last year to compete under the American flag, has never played in an international competition.

The remembered Dream Team that attended the Barcelona 92 ​​Games left an indelible mark because it was the first time that the best American professionals dedicated themselves to the Olympic team. At that time, in addition, there were no players from outside the United States who could look face to face with the great figures of the NBA. There was also a meeting between some of the biggest stars in the history of basketball sports. That allowed us to see Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen together… They won their games by an average of 44 points and did not need to call a single time-out in the entire game. tournament.

Saving some distances, the talent of this team is perhaps the closest to what it was then. Their figures are overwhelming. Apart from those 10 Olympic golds, they have eight awards for the best player of the NBA regular season. They also have nine awards for best player in the finals and a total of 14 NBA championship rings. They have participated together in more than 80 All Stars matches.

The United States has won every men’s basketball gold medal since being surprised by Argentina in the semifinals in 2004. Accumulate 16 gold throughout its history. Since it began to include professionals in 1992, the 2004 gold medal has been the only gold that has eluded the Americans in the Olympic Games.

The American team has not taken such care of the teams for the World Cups and so far this century the United States has only won two of the six held, those in 2010 and 2014. It comes from failing in the 2023 World Cup, where it came in fourth place after losing to Germany in the semifinals.

The US team will begin training in Las Vegas in July. They will play warm-up matches against Australia and Serbia on July 15 and 17 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Next, the Americans will travel to London’s O2 Arena and face South Sudan on July 20 and Germany on July 22.

It will debut in Paris on July 28 against Nikola Jokić and Bogdan Bogdanovic’s Serbia, their great rival in the group stage. Canada (with Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander), Victor Wembanyama’s France and Germany are the other main rivals to beat. Any of these teams aspire to surprise an American team that, on paper, is far superior.

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