They are all going to laugh at us! Well who is laughing now?
The United States is out to set the record straight. US Basketball used to strike fear in the eyes of other programs. These programs were scared to step on the same court as them. Now 3 Olympics later and a couple of non gold medal performances later, the US has the chance to change that. There may be better teams than the Chinese team that the US started off their tournament against, but they do not match up with China well at all. They took China apart after settling into the game about midway through. Not only is this team as good as expected, it may be better. Dwayne Wade was a question mark, he was thought of as a player returning from injury who may have some short solid minutes. Wade has led the team in Lebron's absence, and is now leading them from the bench. Wade is as explosive as he was in the 2006 finals when he led the Miami Heat to a championship over a Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas Mavericks.
The so called "Redeem Team" is more than just out to redeem USA Basketball. They are out here to put that scare back in the hearts of all these other Olympic teams. The Dream team played with heart each game, because they wanted to show the world what they could do. When they wanted to score, they scored. When they wanted to shut other teams down, they shut them down. Now it is time that USA Basketball returns to that mentality. And this is the first team that will be able to live up to the hype that the Dream Team created.
This team has been constructed of 12 players with Roles and great leadership skills. Lebron James is a one man leader, who makes his team better by creating and scoring. He has not played with talent around him yet in the NBA. But he continues to make his team a playoff contender. Kobe Bryant changed his game and stopped trying to win games on his own, and started using the talent around him. He has always been a leader, but now leads in so many different ways on and off the court. Dwayne Wade went from Super Man's side kick in the 2006 playoffs, to the leader of a championship team, and has not turned back. Dwight Howard was drafted as a leader out of high school and has had to lead the Orlando Magic out of the cellar by himself. Jason Kidd was the court leader for the New Jersey Nets, and even though he is on the down slopes of his career, he has still been one of the best leading men in the NBA for the last decade. These are just a few names that will make the world cringe when they think USA Basketball in the future. The team is not a one and done type of squad either. Chris Paul is as youthful as it gets, but was an MVP candidate on one of the best teams in the Western Conference. Chris is the best young player in the game, and will be around Team USA for many years to come.
The problem with previous USA teams has been that they have been playing for the names on the back of their Jersey. The Redeem Team has learned that is what gets you down 40 points to Puerto Rico in the opening game of the Olympics. Playing for the name on the front of their Jersey's gets them a 30 plus victory against the host country. This team is lovable, just like the Dream Team. Team USA has thousands of Chinese fans cheering for them, along with the US fans that made the trip. This is the year that the world remembers TEAM USA. This is the team that will restore the rest of the World's nightmares, when it comes to USA Basketball.