The 2012 Olympics are about seven months away, and the Americans are looking to defend their Olympic gold they won in 2008. The “Redeem Team” was powered by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and of course Kobe Bryant. That team steam rolled through the Olympics, beating teams by an average of 28 points, with the Gold Medal game against Spain being the only game even close to being in doubt.
The 2012 Olympic Team will be even stronger than the 2008 team because in addition to bringing back the bulk of that team, they’ll also add the best of the 2010 World Championship gold medal team. Now, thanks to Yahoo! UK/Ireland, this has led Kobe to make a very bold statement about this 2012 team (which hasn’t even been completely decided).
“In terms of talent, for sure this is the strongest team we’ve ever had for the Olympics,” he said. “This is a big Olympics for us. We have an opportunity to kind of cement ourselves again as a powerhouse of the game. We won at the last Olympics, we won the World Championships [in 2010] and now we want to win in London. Then I think that will put us back where we belong.”
Thanks Kobe for giving us a jump start on the “which team is better” debate. In case you forgot, the ’92 team featured Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson and Patrick Ewing. It’s really tough to say any team could be better than that team. That was Jordan, Pippen, Robinson, Barkley and Ewing all in their primes. Toss in Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Clyde Drexler and John Stockton in their primes and I’m not sure how you beat that team.
We think, thanks to Marc Stein, that Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams are locks to be on the team. You’d think Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose are near locks and I would guess some combination of Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge will fill out the last two spots.
That’s a great team, and the 2012 team would definitely have the edge at point guard, but that’s the only position you can say that. Either way, I know I can’t wait for the Olympics. Of the other teams that have qualified, Spain is the only other team nearly as complete as Team USA and despite the addition of Serge Ibaka is still going to need their best night from everyone involved to take out Team USA. The opening cermonies of the 2012 Olympics take place in London on July 27th.