Featured Gallery, Olympics / Jul 15, 2011 / 11:00 am

The Next Dream Team: 2012 USA Basketball Men’s Olympic Team

Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade & LeBron James

Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade & LeBron James (photo. Nike)

Listen up Mr. Colangelo, I just did you a favor.

Thanks to the U.S. women’s soccer team (see Morgan, Alex), my level of national pride has crept its way into unchartered territories. We half-heartedly watched the USA vs. France game in the Dime office the other day, most of us only paying attention when the U.S. had the ball. Of course, I was guilty of this too being that I’ve never been much of soccer fan.

But something happened in the second half of that game, an “if-you-build-it-he-will-come” like moment. I found myself invested – my emotions tangled with the outcome of the game. I covertly scanned the office to see if anyone had noticed. Was it love at first sight (#13 entering the game) or was it the stage and the enormity of the game? All of a sudden, I’m sneaking in fist pumps under my desk. I’m yelling, “Kick it!” because I don’t know what else to say. I’m trying to control the flight of the ball with body jerks and hand gestures. WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME?!?! Had I officially turned into the bandwagon-soccer-Hulk?

This morning, I was sitting at my desk reminiscing my revelation from Wednesday. Inspired was the word I finally landed on. That was what happened to me. That was what took control (that or #13). The World Cup inspired me, and it also got me thinking – about something completely unrelated of course. The 2012 Olympic basketball team. With USA training camp less than a year away, I decided to do Mr. Colangelo a favor and pick the team for him.

You’re welcome, Jerry.

Chris Paul
Deron Williams
Derrick Rose

Chris Paul and Deron Williams are both “Redeem Team” alums, two of the NBA’s best point guards and two players essential to our team’s success in 2012. Because European basketball is such a guard-heavy-perimeter-oriented style of basketball, Paul and Williams become exponentially more valuable. Rose, the 2010-11 NBA Most Valuable Player, will provide this team will a scary blend of speed and athleticism, a combination that will make him a nightmare for countries with older and slower guards.
With Mike Krzyzewski notorious for his giving-the-keys-to-the-point-guards method of coaching, these three players will be endowed with a tremendous responsibility. Hopefully they took notes from Jason Kidd in 2008.

Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Dwyane Wade
Carmelo Anthony
Kevin Durant

If the point guards are the “keys to the car,” these guys are the 600 horses under the hood. With 33 All-Star appearances, six scoring titles and three MVPs between them…good luck everybody. What’s terrifying about this group is their versatility. With their “Monstars-esque” combination of size, length and athleticism, this five could potentially all be on the floor at the same time – a “European Dream Team” of mismatch abundance. Whether or not that actually happens, and I’m praying it does just once, these five guys will provide not just scoring but experience, leadership and that I-am-NOT-going-to-let-us-lose-this-game type mentality that will make this team almost impossible to beat.

Amar’e Stoudemire
Chris Bosh
Andrew Bynum
Dwight Howard

This is where the U.S. separates itself (I couldn’t think of a comparable car part for this group). These four freaks provide the team with size and strength. Amar’e and Bosh, along with their size for the position, possess an unique ability to step out and knock down the 15-footer. This skill spreads the floor, opens up driving lanes and creates additional scoring opportunities. Howard and Bynum on the other hand, their the muscle, the Luca Brasi‘s of the team. Their job is to clean up the paint – to rebound, then throw the ball through the rim. Few European bigs will be able to match their size and strength at the center position.

So that’s my team. My own personal “Dream Team.” We’ll just leave it to the coaches to teach these guys how to play together.

Who do you think should be on the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s Olympic Team?

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  • drew

    good roster, id also say if there are dropouts of some stars because of free agency, burnout, personal situations, etc. these guys will be in the running.. odom, iguodala, curry, billups, love, chandler, griffin.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Dylan Murphy

    @drew

    Agreed on those guys to be in the running also. Although if Chauncey makes the roster, Colangelo will have destroyed a small part of my soul. Why does this team need a trigger-happy point guard that can’t shoot from deep anymore? I’d much prefer Rondo.

  • The Other Aj

    Rondo, Love, & Griffin need to be on this team…Bynum?

    Also I doubt if Kobe comes back (he’ll be 33/34)?

  • sweetv0mit

    Alex Morgan is my future ex-wife

  • drew

    one more thing to consider besides a yr long lockout is that starting in 2012, FIBA is going to almost NBA rules regarding the paint that is no longer going to be the trapezoid. it’ll make the americans even more dangerous imo because the int’l rules were an underrated factor in limiting the superior athleticism they have over everyone including spain (who now has ibaka).

  • sam

    Garbage with Bosh and Bynum. Kobe probably won’t play, but would be welcomed. Need a couple role players guys, ala the so called B Team in Turkey that ran shit. I’d throw Eric Gordon (Zone Breaker) in for Kobe’s replacement and bring Kevin Love (Mr. Efficient in Turkey) and Tyson Chandler.

  • http://twitter.com/KevinDelRo KevinDelRo

    Rajon Rondo has no business near this team. Point blank.

    One thought though, I might give Russell Westbrook the nod over D-Rose on this one. While that statement seems blasphemous because of the love for D-Rose right now, let me explain.

    D-Rose is a much better player, and the reigning MVP. However, if you watched the last Int’l games when both players (Russ and D-Rose) were on the team, Int’l teams absolutely could not stop Russ Westbrook’s penetration and superior athleticism. Derrick Rose is just as athletic, don’t get me wrong. I just noticed Russ having a more positive impact on the euro games than D-Rose offensively because of his style of play. To add to that, Russ is a better, tougher defender who can defend full court and half court better than D-Rose. And Team USA generally prides itself on being the superior athletic team that can push the ball and full court trap in the open floor.

    Also, shout out to Lamar Odom and Rudy Gay, who both played exceptionally well in that tournament as well! They should get some consideration.

    Just my thoughts…my own opinion.

  • drew

    eric gordon and/or steph curry would be by first perimeter choices should any of the pgs/sgs drop out.

  • rickdaruler

    Replace Bosh with the Blake show. I hate Bosh although I understand he’s more than qualified to make this team. I just want him replaced so I can see a 3 on 2 break with Rose, Lebron, and Griffin against two random international schmucks.

  • Celts Fan

    NO WAY should Andrew Bynum be on this team. Did we learn nothing of Tim Duncan being on Team USA. That style doesn’t play and Bynum isn’t a freak like Dwight where it won’t matter. Dump Bynum, add Kevin Love, whose game is custom-made for running ish in int’l ball.

    @Dylan Murphy – I LOVE Rondo, favorite player in the league besides the Big 3, BUT his game couldn’t be a worse fit for this style of play, to say nothing of his awful attitude and dropping out at the World Championship qualifiers. He’s a top 5 PG in the league (2nd tier behind the Paul, Deron, and Roses of the world) but his O is an awful fit and we don’t need a guy who’s strictly a defender/creator, even though he’s great at both, when we have a roster like this.

  • First & Foremost

    Just for kicks – I think team USA should limit the superstars it has on the team. Nothing portrays the American spirit more [nowadays] than not giving our full effort and still expected to be the best.

    I’m not saying send a D-league team but let the All-Star snubs get a chance. Ellis & LMA namely. Let more up & coming stars shine and have the experience which in turn will make the League better.

    You can mention pride, respect, honor of representing your country but 9 of the 12 players aren’t going to walk away from the experience any better than they are now. Lebron will still have issues yet average 28-8-8. Kobe will still take tough jumpers. Melo still won’t play D. Dwight will still miss FTs.

    Power Nap Team
    Maynor, Wall, Westbrook (Possibly Curry>Maynor)
    Harden/Matthews, Gordon/M. Thornton, Ellis, D. Wright
    Monroe, Aldridge, D. Williams, Blake, Mcgee, Hansbrough/Humphries.

    Give the younger players an opportunity to strengthen the guys that are eyeing the throne.

  • Rep Yo City

    Paul
    D-Will
    Rose

    Bryant
    Wade

    James
    Durant
    Melo

    Griffin
    Love

    Howard

    Token 3-point shooter: Steph Curry

  • Me

    hope solo. thats whats up.

  • da real “RONDO”

    I would sub Griffin and Chandler for Bosh and Bynum.

    Best young player and Champion defender in place of soft oversized SF and injury waiting to happen

  • Ryan I.

    Do you bench LeBron in the 4th quarter?

  • http://www.dimemag.com Dylan Murphy

    @ Celts Fan

    His passing and defensive abilities are exactly why I’d want him on the team: he’d be someone on the floor that wouldn’t demand shots and would do the dirty work (grabbing long rebounds, locking up guys full court and generally being a pest). On a team full of egos, you need someone who’s willing to play second fiddle. And Rondo’s been doing exactly that for years on the Celtics when he’s arguably the best player. But regardless, I think we can both agree that he wouldn’t see any time over Paul and Williams anyway.

  • heckler

    the roster is fine.
    what might be the most fun part would be to watch the first team and the 2nd team have an all out war practice.

    i mean shit…consider who’d be coming off the BENCH! the leagues current MVP and scoring champ would be coming off the bench on this roster!…think about that for a sec…

    STARTERS
    Chris Paul
    Kobe Bryant
    Carmelo Anthony
    LeBron James
    Dwight Howard

    BENCH
    Derrick Rose
    Deron Williams
    Dwyane Wade
    Kevin Durant
    Amar’e Stoudemire

  • Celts Fan

    @dylan. The 2 best pgs in the world (cp3 and deron) can do that and have the O to stretch the floor. His skills are redundant to the team and stopping another guy who’s a better fit from making it. Dude was potentially gonna get cut last summer and his comp’s only gotten better. Cant play 4 on 5 in that style and every wing’s gotta be able to stretch the floor. Awful fit despite the good reasons you list for including him. Im a homer too, if it made sense, Id be right there with you but it doesnt at all in that style with that great of a talent pool available to you.

  • First & Foremost

    Paul & Williams WON’T be on the team. Especially Paul because of his knees. How do you negotiate a contract knowing you have knee problems playing in “meaningless” games. Of the team mentioned above not like it is a recruiting tool since only Dwight would be a free agent giving Deron no reason to play.

    Team USA will bring either:
    Rondo because of his ability to defer.
    Curry same as above but can shoot.
    Wall = Rondo
    Westbrook because Durant says so.
    Jennings only if he converts to worship Nike
    Irving if he averages 7+ assists (look he is passing to)
    Rose gets an automatic bid
    Felton might be a good fit for the team but I think since he comes with ZERO starpower he doesn’t even bother with it.

  • Chaos

    Bynum and Bosh need to come off for a combination of these 3:
    Griffin (undeniable motor, athletically scary freak, can you imagine him and Dwight on the court at the same time?!)

    Love (token white guy but can actually play, big, solid body, post moves, can rebound and shoot from deep)

    Chandler (long, Athletic, committed to defense and rebounding, tough and can spell Dwight for minutes at a time)

    if kobe doesnt play then they can go with:
    rudy gay (scorer, athletic but not really a defender and got enough 3’s)

    eric gordon (Kobe extra light/64 oz, willing to defend can shoot and athletic

    andre iguodala (doesnt need the ball to be effective on D)

  • Jay Chau

    Playing in the FIBA rules system, and against European players, this team will need a 3-pointer shooter. Straight up role as the man to shoot 3’s.

  • jdstorm

    @celtsfan
    rondo’s not going unless there are some serious injuries. he couldn’t even make the B team that won in turkey, and now john wall is a year older and ready to enter the mix

    PG CP3 DWill Curry Rose, westbrook, wall, with billups in the mix as a token vet who shoots. before rondo

    Wade wont make it for the same reason as rondo. he cant shoot, only defends one position, and rose and westbrook slash just as well.

    SG Kobe, Harden, Wade,, Iggy (token defender) Gordon Tyreke evans

    SF KD, Lebron, Melo, Gay

    PF Griffin, Love 40% from 3, amare, bosh

    C Dwight might be the only true C on the roster lamar odom, greg monroe have outside chances

  • Celts Fan

    @jdstorm – you can’t read, can you? my whole point was he’s a horrible fit for the team. jesus christ…

    speaking of horrible fits, Tyreke Evans should be NO WHERE NEAR CONSIDERATION for Team USA. Guys like that are the reason we had to have a Redeem Team.

    I like Blake Griffin a lot, but dude ain’t ready to be on an Olympic Team. straight athletes don’t cut it in this format. Love over Blake all day. develop a jumper for 2016 and we’ll go from there.

    and Wade was one of the best players on the squad in 08 (though I had the same concerns you mention back then.) he’s gotta make it. no question.

  • Knicks Are Back

    Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Amar’e Stoudmire, Deron Williams, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffen, Chris Paul, Kevin Love, Dwayne Wade, and Dwight Howard.