2008 U.S. Men's Basketball Team
After winning two bronze medals in the 2004 Olympics and the 2006 FIBA World Championship, the 2008 USA Basketball Men’s Team was determined to re-establish the dominance they displayed with the 1992 Dream Team, who won Olympic Gold. The 2008 team set out to recruit the NBA’s top stars ahead of the Beijing Olympics, and a final roster of eleven NBA All-Stars, a legendary coach, and two NBA MVPs were assembled.
Up until August 24th, during the Olympic games, USA Basketball had overpowered their match-ups in games that weren’t even close. However, the epic Gold Medal game would be “one of the great games in international basketball history” as the USA head coach described. The face-off for gold gave the fans exactly what they wanted, with a tight game for the full forty minutes. It all came down to the fourth quarter, when Pau Gasol scored a bucket to bring Spain to just five points behind the U.S., with 3 minutes and 32 seconds remaining. Despite a total of 21 points from Pau Gasol and another 22 from his teammate, the star power and leadership of Team USA gave them the edge. Wade dealt the final blow with his fourth 3-pointer of the game that put the USA back up by seven, 111-104, with 2:04 minutes left.
The gap was too much to overcome for Spain, and the final horn sounded with the U.S. claiming the Gold Medal in a thrilling 118-107 victory. After dropping a game-high 27 points, Wade said, "We did this together as a team, which is what makes it feel that much better.” Despite playing fewer minutes individually than members of other teams, Wade finished the tournament ninth in scoring and fifth in steals, and Bosh was 1st in field goal percentage.
Jason Kidd earned himself a career statistical feat by ranking ninth in Olympic rebounds, and became just the 13th U.S. male player in history to collect two gold medals.
With the achievements of the NBA’s star athletes during the 2008 Olympics, the USA had undoubtedly “redeemed” themselves as they went undefeated (8-0) in the tournament and won all their games by an average margin of 27.9 points.Shop Team USA