Let’s Not Kid Ourselves, The USA Olympic Men’s Basketball Roster Is Depressing
June 27 / Tanya Ray Fox / SportsGrid
Let's be clear about this, the USA Olympic Men's Basketball roster is fine. The team that they've put together should still beat that crap out of just about every other squad in the world because the pool of basketball talent in America is unparalleled; on account of that little league we have known as the NBA. So don't mistake this as a piece that is bemoaning their chances in Rio, because this roster should absolutely still come away with gold.
The biggest problem with the roster isn't who is on it, it's who isn't. That may sound nit-picky, but as a fan who just watched Lebron James play in one of the most thrilling NBA Finals Game 7's of all-time, I feel cheated. Before we go any further, here's the roster as released by USA Basketball on Monday:
None of these guys are scrubs by any means; except for maybe Carmelo Anthony, who is definitely officially past his prime. DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan will manhandle whoever is unlucky enough to have to match up with them, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are both capable of throwing up at least 35 points per game and Draymond Green will scare the daylights out of the wimpy European players. Plus he probably still has a lot of pent up aggression leftover from his Game 5 suspension during the Finals, and I'm pretty sure that a gold medal is high on his list of favorite shiny objects.
And this is all not to mention that Klay Thompson could take down a couple of countries single-handedly if he starts to hit three-pointers.
Still if you remove Kevin Durant from the roster, things start to look grim. If you lose Durant and Kyrie Irving, you might be looking at a repeat of Athens in 2004. A U.S. Men's Basketball roster should be unrepentant in it's superiority. They should be able to lose two starters and toss in two more than are damn near equally as good. That's why this roster is such a bummer.
Just for the fun of it, let's take a look at what this roster could have looked like if it had even come close to hitting its maximum potential:
I DARE YOU TO TELL ME THAT ROSTER DOESN'T GIVE YOU GOOSEBUMPS. Now scroll back up to the actual team that we'll be rolling out in Rio...
See? Depressing. It's going to be so much less fun to win gold this year.
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