OT - 2012 Dream Team - Who do you keep and who do you start?

Submitted by MGJS SuperKick Party on June 29th, 2012 at 7:42 PM

I just saw this on ESPN's facebook page and I thought it could bring up some pretty interesting conversations.

The Finalist Roster for the 2012 United States Olympic Men's Basketball team consists of:

  1. Carmelo Anthony
  2. Blake Griffin
  3. Kobe Bryant
  4. Tyson Chandler
  5. Anthony Davis
  6. Kevin Durant
  7. Rudy Gay
  8. Eric Gordon
  9. James Harden
  10. Andre Iguodala
  11. Lebron James
  12. Kevin Love
  13. Lamar Odom
  14. Chris Paul
  15. Russell Westbrook
  16. Deron Williams

The roster is going to be 12 players, who would you cut and who would you start?

I would definitely start:

PG: Chris Paul

SG: Kobe Bryant

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: Lebron James (loved him as a PF in the finals)

C: Kevin Love

I would cut Rudy Gay and Andre Iguodala because of the abundance great of small forwards on the list, KD, Lebron and Melo. I think I would then cut Eric Gordon and Lamar Odom based on the talent above them. The two that it would depend how they practiced is definately Anthony Davis, and James Harden.





June 29th, 2012 at 7:58 PM ^

Too many scorers and not enough shooters. I would keep the top player at each position, then the next best two or three regardless of position. Finally fill the rest of the team with the best shooters/defenders available.

Phil Davison

June 29th, 2012 at 10:53 PM ^

Blake Griffin is a highlight machine, but Kevin Love is your starter (if not Chandler for the sake of size in the paint). Love does everything well. He can score inside and out, rebound, defend, pass, and, unlike Griffin, make free throws. Blake Griffin can't do a handful of those things at even close to an Olympic level.

snarling wolverine

June 29th, 2012 at 10:34 PM ^

France could give us a game - they have Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, Joakim Noah, a few others.

One thing to remember is that international basketball has a lot of weird rules, like no goaltending.  Also, the international 3-point line is pretty short.  We fell short in '04 in part because everyone outshot us from downtown.

Wettin 3's

June 29th, 2012 at 10:53 PM ^

I don't understand how teams like France stand a chance against us...we are the freaking USA, we put our best athletes in this sport. France/Spain should only be kicking our ass in soccer. We say we suck at soccer, and place an excuse stating "we put our best athletes in basketball and football". Now when the olympics come we could lose to Spain, so frustrating.

snarling wolverine

June 29th, 2012 at 11:09 PM ^

Well, we should win gold - we're the clear favorite.  But we have some things working against us:

1.  It's a single-elimination tournament (after the group stages), and those are always a little unpredictable.  If it were like the NBA Playoffs, with best-of-seven series, the U.S. would win every time.

2.  As noted above, international basketball has some different rules, which can put us at a disadvantage (the NBA is about the only the league in the world that doesn't follow all of the FIBA rules), because the other countries have guys who grew up with those rules.

3.  Basically every game we play in the Olympics is a road game - fans in the rest of the world are no longer in awe of the U.S. team (even if they like the individual players) and now want to see us lose.


June 29th, 2012 at 10:11 PM ^

I completely disagree. Individually we have the best players, but collectively, this team has a lot of ball stoppers and hardly any shooters. Any other team will zone us up and live with us trying to beat them from the perimeter. I'm not saying we can't win with this formula, but we are definitely not representing the USA with the best TEAM available.


June 29th, 2012 at 8:26 PM ^

I'd start Deron, Kobe, Melo, Lebron and Tyson.

I like Love, Harden, Paul and gay off the bench.

Melo is built for the olympic style of play and has done well in the games. Harden is instant offense and in the international game that is greatly needed.

However, I think this years team might struggle a little bit in some game and might even lose 1 in pool play.


June 29th, 2012 at 8:38 PM ^

Cut Lamar Odom for sure.  The other three players that need to be cut would be a tough decision.  I think the starting lineup should be






Anything short of a gold medal should be a huge disappointment.

Duval Wolverine

June 29th, 2012 at 8:51 PM ^

I would start:

PG: Chris Paul


SG: Kobe Bryant

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: Lebron James

C: Tyson Chandler


Anthony Davis

Carmelo Anythony

Deron Williams

James Harden

Kevin Love

Blake Griffin

Russell Westbrook


coastal blue

June 29th, 2012 at 8:51 PM ^

PG: Chris Paul 

SG: Kobe Bryant 

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: Lebron James

C: Tyson Chandler

Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, Anthony Davis. 



June 29th, 2012 at 8:52 PM ^

I would cut Melo twice if I could.  I have always thought he was wildly overrated and this past season clearly showed him to not be a team guy, which is clearly needed in international play as evidenced by our inexcusable failure a few years ago in whatever that tournament was.  I like your starting lineup, but overall I agree with the above poster that the team needs more shooters.


June 29th, 2012 at 9:12 PM ^

Funny thing about Melo....in 04 and 08 he has always been a team guy. He might be an ass in the NBA...but in the olympics he has NEVER been a problem and has always been a good teammate.


June 29th, 2012 at 9:48 PM ^

Who cares about who gets cut. I look at the pool to pick from and all I can think of is the U.S. used to be able to send people like David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Hakeem Olajuwon (spelling, yes I know), Shaquille O'neil, Karl Malone, and more. Where have all the big men gone??? :-(


June 29th, 2012 at 9:51 PM ^

I don't like Me first players and sulkers. 

Westbrook is talented but out of control although in Intl competition he would be a nightmare to defend but we don't need another guard.

I have dislike Melo from day NBA day1 but loved him at Cuse.


Phil Davison

June 29th, 2012 at 10:56 PM ^


Before the Dream Team, the US was the only country who didn't use professionals in the Olympics, which was understood as a bit of a disadvantage. Today it would be an insurmountable disadvantage with the way basketball has exploded globally. Our amateurs would not stand a chance.

Can't be interested if they aren't playing.

snarling wolverine

June 29th, 2012 at 11:15 PM ^

Technically it was only in 1989 that the Olympic basketball tournament was officially opened to professionals.  However, before then several countries (notably in the Eastern Bloc) were paying their "amateurs" big salaries to compete on the national team.  Here's a link from just before the rule change:



June 30th, 2012 at 12:06 AM ^

1. I like college ball way more than the pros.... so I'd rather watch the college guys play.

2. We (US) are the prohibitive favorite every Olympics. If we don't win it, we should pretty be ashamed. I find myself rooting against the US in basketball in the Olympics. Rather pull for some underdogs.


June 29th, 2012 at 11:00 PM ^

According to some articles, that might be next. Apparently the NBA is thinking about starting up a World Cup type of deal and running it like FIFA. Then they would make that the focus for the professional players, and leave the Olympics to like under-23's

Wettin 3's

June 29th, 2012 at 10:49 PM ^


PG: Chris Paul

SG: Kobe Bryant

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: LeBron James

C: Blake Griffin

6th Man: SF Anthony

I would cut Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Lamar Odom...Rudy Gay and Eric Gordon are also toss-ups. Might switch them out for Chandler and Harden after thinking.


June 29th, 2012 at 11:23 PM ^

1.Deron Williams

2.Kobe Bryant

3. Kevin Durant

4. Lebron James

5.Tyson Chandler

I'd cut Kevin Love, Anthony Davis, Lamar Odom, and James Harden.

When we look at a team that would be successful in the NBA, it's not the same as playing international competition. I'd rather have a smaller, more athletic team with guys that can play multiple positions. For instance, Lebron can play any position on the floor with success. He would cause all sorts of havoc at the 4 or 5 spot.


June 29th, 2012 at 11:45 PM ^

Odom, A Davis, Harden , Gordon ,and Gay


I'd get another center on the team like Bynum or somebody else solid, because we have no depth at center behind chandler

i'd ask Tim Duncan , Andrew Bynum , roy hibbert

we need some size for sure


especially with spain

we need another Big man

Rondo getting the shaft big time


June 29th, 2012 at 11:54 PM ^

Westbrook has no idea what team basketball is, I'd cut him first. Paul and Williams are 10x the point guard Russell is.

Davis, Griffin, and Gay are out as well