Unfortunately for basketball fans, the summer of the lockout will not fall on a summer in which the USA Men's National Basketball team competes.
But whatever. I wrote this article about what the roster would probably look like, position by position, if
the Olympics were this year. The only part of this article where my opinion comes in is when I'm guessing who the coaches would choose. So this is all prediction.
Honestly, the USA could basically make a team out of the American players that aren't even on this list and still probably win every game by double digits (see 2010 FIBA World Championship).
Not too many teams besides the usual group (Spain, France, etc.) will be able to put up any fight against America.
One thing that America would consider is past international experiences, or lack thereof. It is hard to determine exactly where the line is when it comes to rewarding players for past successes on the team or who will be disadvantaged for never having participated.
While most countries with less options try to stick with the same core group of guys each summer, America has recently been changing things around. In fact, not a single player on the 2008 Redeem Team was on the 2010 World Championship team that also won gold.
But honestly, does it matter? Both groups went undefeated. So it's difficult to judge how the coaches could reward players for their recent experiences. So I repeat, does it matter?
If both teams were such successes, how can you be biased towards either one? Well, there is actually some potential bias. Look at the rosters of the powerhouses in the 2010 Championship. Argentina didn't include Manu Ginobili.
Germany didn't include Dirk Nowitzki. Australia didn't include Andrew Bogut. France didn't include Tony Parker or Joakim Noah, among others, and (this is the big one) Spain didn't didn't include Pau Gasol. The list actually keeps going.
A huge portion of the world's best players passed last summer.
So I'm going to keep that facet to minimum importance, although there will be a few cases where it will matter. Considering that nobody important has really failed recently, these predictions are mostly going on simply the best possible roster.