Early The "Redeem Team's" performance in Bejing was everything I could have expected. Every story line I wanted to see happened; Dwayne Wade made an incredible come-back, Deron Williams and Chris Paul played wonderfully together and Chris Bosh even put up numbers that made me re-watch his "Western Car-Dealership Vote for Me Commercial."
However, I still can not erase the taste of 2004's "NBA All 4th Team's" bronze medal from my mouth. I'm sure I'm not the only fan that feels this way.
Thinking about the bronze makes me cry like when I watch Pete Bell's "I've done the game wrong" speech after he coached Western to beat Indiana.
It makes me wince like I was a bystander watching Jesus Shuttlesworth easily beat his father Jake in 1-on-1 sending him back to prison.
Those memories even hurt me more than having to re-watch Tim Riggin's 30yr old girlfriend leave him for his older dead-beat brother.
This is why I am already crafting my picks for the 2012 US Olympic Team.
After doing a little research between the Dream Team (I and II), the Bronze team and the Redeem team, there are a few qualifications Im going to use to be able to more accurately predict the future four years.
1) The average age:
1992 Dream Team = 28
1996 Dream Team II = 29
2000 Team = 27
2004 Bronze Team = 23
2008 Redeem Team = 25.5
From these numbers, I will try to keep the team around 26 to 28. While I won't include or exclude players in order to make the average right, I'll exclude anyone who isn't in the NBA now and I will exclude any players over 32.
2) Veteran Presence:
1992 Dream Team = 4 (Jordan, Mullen, Ewing, Robinson
1996 Dream Team II = 6 (Pippen, Barkley, Richmond, Malone, Stockton, Robinson)
2000 Team = 1 (Payton)
2004 Bronze Team = 0
2008 Redeem Team = 5 (Anthony, Kidd, James, Wade, Boozer)
Very few players play in 3 Olympics (other than Robinson) especially not after winning a gold. It's been said by Shaq, Garnett, Allen, and many others that spots are given to players who don't have gold metals. I will exclude any players who haveplayed in two Olympics (Lebron, Carmello, DWade)
Here We go:
Chris Paul - PG/SG No Brain-er. Starter PG
Deron Williams - PG/SGNo Brain-er. Starter SG
Brandon Roy - SG
Perfect team first mentality that Coach K implemented into these guys. He reminds me a lot of Scottie Pippen, who was a major contributor in both Dream Team performances. Doesn't have to get fifteen shots a game and his numbers are high when considering steals, assists, and rebounds as a primary guard. He can also hit the outside shot.
Kevin Martin- SG.
He can shoot the lights out. The savior in the 2000 Olympics was the shooting ability of Ray Allen, Allen Houston and Steve Smith. Without Lebron and Carmello, this team is similar to the 2000 squad in that it lacks concrete star power. Martin can shoot from anywhere, and is tall enough and quick enough to get to the rack. At 6'7 in international play, he should be tough to match up against. His height and quickness should also help him on the defensive end to contest euro shooters.
Devin Harris- PG/SG
I'm going withHarris over Monte Ellis, but barely. And I could easily regret this decision. The main point in this pick though is that the US team needs a lightening fast guard to change the pace of games.
Whether he plays five minutes or the whole second half we need an intangible to change the flow of the game and disrupt zone defenses. Harris and Ellis are the quickest guys in the league, probably the fastest guys in the country. Id love to see them square up against Willie Mays Hays in a race for the final slot on this team!
Andre Igoudala- SF Starter
Athleticism out of this world. I think he could play like D-Wade played this year. He was a major contributor in the US victory this year on the offensiveand defensive ends. AI needs to work on his shooting consistency to become the starting SF, but through a full season puts up decent numbers. His ability on the defensiveend easily makes up for any second guessing in his shooting. He is consistently on top of the league with steals and should contend for a major role in this team.
Kevin Durant- SF
Pure Scorer, and every team needs at least one of those. In four years, there is no doubt in my mind he will become a consistent three point shooter and be able to hit the Carmello mid range jumper as well. His lengthmakes him tough to cover and defend as well. He lacks defense, but can rebound. Should battle Igoudala for the starting spot.
Al Jefferson - PF Starter
He is by far the meanest player I have watched lately. He reminds me of Charles Oakley, but with a Five Star game. Id be amazed if anyone in the world can keep him from cleaning up a missed shot and dunking it home. On a more personal note, Id love to see some of these Euro "big men" try to flop when Al Jefferson physically dominates them.
David West- PF
He has such a smoothstroke. A big man witha jump shot is the prototype of an international player. He has a mean streak as well. Consistently puts up a double double and the way he made Dirk look like a 6th grade JV player, I would be honored for him to represent my country. Imagine trying to fight West and Jefferson off for a rebound? Wow.
Michael Beasley- SF/PF
The only reason why I select himover Al Horford is because the team needs to stay sleek. Beasley adds the ability to moveand run the floor and his height enables him to play boththe SF and the PF is foul trouble arises. A lot is unproven withhis NBA ability, but he is such an electric player its tough to see him not succeeding.
This time around is his year. With all the thick, physical forwards listed above, he should be able to move around the lane and protect the basket at will. He could play as more of a box-in-one defender and contest shots from all over. West, Beasley and Jefferson also allows Chandler to roam with out being boxed out to snag rebounds.
Tough to see this kid not on the team. Withhis progress in the past season before his injury, he is a force to be reckoned with. Not too often you see a big man withhis size and physique with so much agility and lateral movement. Perfect for the international game.
Did you really think I was going to leave him off? He's like Beasley, unproven. But how could he not be dominant withhis size and withthe supporting cast around him? He could play like D. Robinson or Pat Ewing of the old days. What a site.
Anybody I forgot? Any additions? Dump points? Let me know.