After a Gold finished by the USA Men’s Basketball Team in the 2000 Sydney Olympic, things started to fell apart for the USA Men’s Basketball Team. On 2002 FIBA Basketball World Cup they were beaten by Yugoslavia an European Team if I’m not mistaken in the Quarter-Finals.
They had an early exit on that prestigious tournament, a lot NBA fans were disappointed by the performance of that team. Team USA Basketball Team finished that tournament on a five or six position if i remember correctly. A lot of players supposed to be in that rosters were not in that tournament. The next year 2003 was different result, the Team USA needed to qualified for the 2004 Athens, Greece Summer Olympics.
So they needed a firepower to qualify, immediately a lot of superstar players committed to play for that qualifying tournament held in Puerto Rico, the first one to answered the call were Jason Kidd, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, Vince Carter, Tracy Mcgrady, Ray Allen, Mike Bibby, Kenyon Martin, Jermaine O’neal. Due to his ankle injury Kobe Bryant was not included, but if he is healthy he will be there, for sure they were unbeatable team.
Even though Kobe Bryant was not included that team successfully brought back again the title and qualified for the 2004 summer OLYMPICS in Athens, Greece with unblemished record. But it seems that the only problem for the Team USA is the availability of the players. 2004 Summer Olympics, a lot of players that played in the 2003 Qualifying tournament were not available to play. The players that were ready for the 2004 summer OLYMPICS were Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson and the rest were resting due to the long season of the NBA. Some of them resting their ankles, some were not available for what reason.
Led by Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson, Team USA coaching staff added the rookies Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Emeka Okafor. Some veteran players like Shawn Marion and Stephon Marbury, and up in coming Amare Stoudamire and Carlos Boozer. All seems goes well for the team USA until the game against the Argentina in the semi-finals was a disappointing defeat again for team USA. A lot of NBA Fans especially Americans were disappointed what could it be a GOLD finish by the team USA. Instead they bring home a bronze finished after they defeated the LITHUANIA. Even myself was disappointed on that defeat. For me the USA Basketball team is still the best, with those great passing and alley-oop dunks that we used to seen. i cannot argue that the USA Basketball is the “KING OF THE BASKETBALL.” if all the great pieces are available to play they are UNBEATABLE.
On a Mission
On 2004 Athens, Greece Olympics, the USA Basketball Team had a planned to regain the moniker what they called “The King of Basketball.” In order to do that they must have the important pieces to beat the defending champion 2004 Gold medalist Argentina.
How the team USA will get the pieces they wanted in order to succeed? If the key players were resting after the long and tiring season of the NBA. Will any of those key players sacrifice their summer and play for the flag? But the players, even coaches understand what is at stake.
Some of those key players that committed themselves to play for the flag of the United States were Jason Kidd and Kobe Bryant. When both Kidd and Bryant committed to played. Some of those players were eventually committed themselves to play alongside Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd. Those players were Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul. I forget who else were there, these key players that the USA basketball management wants to built. With the veterans leadership of Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd together the young and talented supporting casts led by Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. This team was called by the experts “Redeem Team”. from the get go of the tournament the USA Men’s Basketball Team had an ultimate goal which is to bring back the gold medal to the Team USA.
It didn’t take long for the Team USA, they won their first to fifth game, and led their group with undefeated 5-0 finished. Beating China, Greece, Spain, Angola, Germany if i remember correctly. They beat all of those teams with a margin of 30 above points as far as i remember. On their Quarter Finals match against Australia they had a hard time at the first half of the game and then pulled away in the third and fourth quarter of the game and won by 31 points.
The Semi–Finals match was against the defending champion Argentina. The game was close from the start as the game goes on the Team USA defeated the defending Gold medalist Argentina by 20 points and moved on to the Gold Medal Game against the Team Spain led by Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol, together with Ricky Rubio and sharp shooter Carlos Navarro.
The game was close all the way down to the stretch when the Team USA led by Kobe Bryant pulled away to win by eleven points if i remember it right. The USA Men’s Basketball Team redeem themselves again and owned again the moniker “King of Basketball.” The first time i heard this team will compete for the 2008 Olympics, I’ve said “It is a sure GOLD.”
All photos and written here are my personal stuff.