By: Trey Walker
Four years have slowly passed since London, and this Friday marks the beginning of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Team USA looks well represented across the board, but the basketball team in particular seems to be a clear favorite for the gold already. It is Coach K’s last giddy-up with the national team, and he plans to return home with another gold for the homeland. A handful of players declined to play for the stars and stripes this go round for many reasons(Zika Virus concerns, rest, and others), but here is the group of players that the US rounded up…
United States of America Olympic Team Roster
(#15)- Forward, Carmelo Anthony
(#8)- Forward, Harrison Barnes
(#4)- Forward, Jimmy Butler
(#12)- Center, DeMarcus Cousins
(#9)- Guard, DeMar DeRozan
(#5)- Forward, Kevin Durant
(#13)- Guard, Paul George
(#14)- Forward, Draymond Green
(#10)- Guard, Kyrie Irving
(#6)- Center, DeAndre Jordan
(#7)- Guard, Kyle Lowry
(#11)- Guard, Klay Thompson
Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski
Assistant Coaches: Jim Boeheim, Tom Thibodeau, and Monty Williams
Draymond Green Gone Nuts…..(Literally)
There haven’t been that many off-of-the-court distractions leading up to the Olympics, except for the troubled Golden State Warrior, Draymond Green. On Monday, July 11th, Green was arrested on assault charges after beating a Michigan State football player in an East Lansing bar. A plea bargain was later met between Green and local law enforcement that would lower his charge to a noise infraction, and pay a $560 fee.
The fun didn’t stop there.
Green was caught accidentally posting explicit pictures of his groin area up for the public to see on his Snapchat this last week. Initially, he claimed to have been hacked, but later admitted to hitting the wrong button.
Otherwise, the national team has been taking care of business in their pre-olympic showcase series. During some moments, the Americans have been showboating a good amount. In the 107-57 victory over China, Coach K said after the game, “We had a little bit too much fun out there tonight. We have to tone that down a little bit.”
The United States went undefeated in exhibition play(5-0), and averaged a 43 point victory margin in those games. This team isn’t the Dream Team, but they are also not a squad of washed up scrubs. Coach K has more versatility in his lineup than most other countries do,(the USA is the only competing country that has all team members as active NBA players).
Teams that could possibly upset the Americans:
The French stand a remote chance, primarily because their starting 5 contains 3 NBA players: Rudy Gobert, Nic Batum, and Tony Parker. In addition, the French bench is relatively deep, highlighted by former Euroleague MVP, Nando De Colo, Spurs Forward, Boris Diaw, and Nuggets big man, Joffrey Auvergne.
Furthermore, the reigning Eurobasket champions will put up a fight with their strong inside presence. Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic both have been great for the Spaniards in national play.
What it comes down to: Nobody is going to beat the United States.
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