LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and 12 Players for the 2012 Olympic Basketball Team
We still have one more year before the 2012 Olympics in London, but this could be the next time we see NBA stars on the floor. With the current lockout situation leaving more questions than answers about the possibility of a season next year, this is what we have to look forward to.
It is not easy to assemble a 12-man roster of the most elite basketball players in the world. You have multiple guys playing one position who would be considered locks otherwise, and you also have some guys who just don't mesh together well as a unit.
Looking at all the outstanding candidates for the 2012 Olympic team, this will surely be a daunting task for anyone to do. Obviously this is just my subjective list, but I am more interested in feedback as to why you think someone else needs to make the cut over another player. Please provide some good reasons as to why you think another player would fit better.
Just Missing the Cut
Unfortunately, these were the main snubs I don't think should be a part of the final 12-man roster for the 2012 USA team:
- Chris Bosh
- LaMarcus Aldridge
- Joe Johnson
- Tyson Chandler
- Kevin Love
- Blake Griffin
- Russell Westbrook
While it would be nice to have stars like Bosh, Aldridge and Griffin inside, their game just isn't as important when it comes to international basketball. Russell Westbrook might be the hardest one to leave off, but there is such a logjam of great point guards.
The Seven Locks to Make the Team
There are seven guys, in my opinion, who are no-brainers when it comes to putting this team together:
I shouldn't have to explain why any of these guys should be on the roster. They are the highest level players at their respective positions, and they all already know how to play with other superstars.
If any of these seven don't make the final roster, it will be because they chose not to play next summer.
D-Will should be on this team because he is the perfect backup for CP3. The two are very similar, although Williams is probably the better long distance shooter.
Not only can he score at will, Williams can find the open guys and make the perfect pass.
Amar'e will be the perfect complement to Dwight Howard at center.
You can almost be assured that Howard will get into foul trouble in most games. Not only that, but they will need someone who can play perimeter defense on the other team's "center" at times.
Stoudemire's game will translate perfectly to the international style of play.
The depth at this position is something this team will hang their hat on.
Having a third point guard who can play as well as Rondo will prove to be vital. Not only is Rondo one of the best passers in the game, but he doesn't have to score to be effective. His defense and good instincts are something the team will need.
Rondo is a nice change of pace from CP3 and D-Will as well.
I know what you are thinking, another point guard?
As much as you would think the team needs another big guy, they will be just fine for the international style of play. They will need to have a smaller lineup most of the time, and even guys like LeBron, Carmelo and even Durant will be able to defend down low.
Rose provides a whole new level of play. He is not the passer the other three point guards are, but he is the best finisher in the game today when he gets to the rim. He might even fit better as the two guard, depending on who is on the floor.
I would imagine this one will take the most criticism, so just hear me out.
You can never have too many guys who are as versatile as Gordon.
Remember that he had a big role on this team and performed very well for such a young player. He was one of the best shooters and one of the best defenders the team had.
Gordon has gotten even better, and I believe he will be a superstar by the time this group is put together. He has everything you could ask for: shooting, driving, the ability to finish strong, great defense and excellent passing.
Gordon just might be the dark horse who ends up being one of the best players on this team.