Gibbons Gazette

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Gibbons Gazette

Gibbons Gazette

The Madness of March
April 30, 2024

Summer Olympics; Faster, Higher, and Stronger Than Ever

Summer Olympics; Faster, Higher, and Stronger Than Ever
Benoit Tessier

This year, the Summer Olympics are being held in Paris, France. One of the sports that people worldwide are most excited about is basketball. The United States’ basketball team has always been incredible, taking much of the talent from today’s NBA. Basketball has been featured in the Summer Olympics since 1936, and the United States have only missed the podium (top three) once, while not getting the gold medal just four times. All of this is just to say, the United States has dominated the sport of basketball for decades.


Some notable NBA players are missing from the team. Most Valuable Player candidates Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, and Luka Doncic are all suspiciously gone. Why? Because they each play for the countries they are originally from. Additionally, Jalen Brunson, Paul George, and others who all would have played missed the cut for making the team.


The United States’ roster is made up of twelve players and four coaches. Each player plays in the NBA at an all-star level. Despite there being twelve players on the team, only nine NBA teams are represented, as the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Phoenix Suns have two players. Any NBA team being represented at all is an honor.


With all of that said, I think it’s time to mention each member of the team and give them each their moment of glory. I’ll dedicate some information to each of them.


First alphabetically, we have Bam Adebayo supporting the Miami Heat. He is a powerful center who led the Heat along with Jimmy Butler to a finals run, where they were only stopped by generational talent Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. He’ll surely help hold down the fort on defense while still being an offensive threat in the post.


Next, we have Devin Booker. He has been leading the Phoenix Suns’ playoff runs for multiple years, being helped now by Kevin Durant. He is a talented shooter with incredible dribbling capabilities. His Suns team lost Chris Paul to the Warriors last off-season, but Booker is doing his best to make a solid playoff run, followed by an Olympics gold medal.


Third, there is Stpehen Curry. He is nearly unanimously considered to be the greatest all time shooter. He, along with his Splash Brother Klay Thompson, have led the Warriors to multiple championships. Curry is a superstar, making all-star appearances regularly. He can and will shoot three pointers any opportunity he gets. Defenses fear the threat he poses from the perimeter.


Of the Los Angeles Lakers we have Anthony Davis. He, like Adebayo, is a powerful big man ready to post up. He began his career with the New Orleans Pelicans, before joining LeBron James on the Lakers. From there, he won a championship. This acquisition happened a few years ago. Davis’s next goal is helping to bring home the gold for team USA.


Kevin Durant has been one of the best NBA players for over a decade. He was a huge success with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson back when he played for the Warriors. Then, he tried to form a superteam with the Brooklyn Nets teaming up with Kyrie Irving. This, unfortunately for him, was a gigantic flop. Since leaving the Nets for the Suns this year, he and Devin Booker tried to make a playoff run, only to be stopped by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Durant is a great defensive player and a force on offense.


Anthony Edwards is one of the greatest rising superstars the NBA has today. He led the Timberwolves into the playoffs and beat the Suns, who had two all-stars on their roster. He is one of the most exciting players to watch, producing highlight reel plays on a nightly basis. He has been known to make some monstrous, posterizing dunks in the past. We’ll see if he can do the same over international stars in the Olympics.


Joel Embiid is a sensational center for the Philadelphia 76ers. He has been in the MVP conversation for multiple years, winning one last season. He has brought his team to the playoffs many years in a row alongside other stars. However, none of the others have stayed long. He also has had many problems with injury throughout his career. On top of that, he often faces foul trouble towards the end of games. The good side of that, is that it shows he plays hard-nosed defense, and is always a threat in the paint.


Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers has been one of the biggest surprises of this season’s NBA. He became a breakout star at the beginning of the year, only for his momentum to be halted from a mid-season injury. The Pacers roster seems to not include any big stars past Haliburton, their team consisting of Pascal Siakam, Obi Toppin, and Myles Turner among others. That’s the difference between Haliburton and other members of the Olympic team. He is able to elevate a team by himself. Siakam, Toppin, etc. are all amazing players, but there is a decent chance that if you haven’t been following Pacers basketball, you wouldn’t know who they were. Haliburton took his Pacers team all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals this year.


When first looking at the United States’ roster, Jrue Holiday might seem like an odd addition. He’s not generally regarded as a generational talent like most others. In fact, most don’t even see him as the best player on his team. However, he can do things on a basketball court that few others can. He is one of the best all-around players in the NBA. He can shoot from anywhere. He can drive. His passing is impeccable due to his knowledge of the game. But most of all, his defense stands out as what makes him worthy of the Olympics.


I’m sure if you’re reading this article, you know who LeBron James is. Not many other players can say that they’ve earned the nickname “king”. LeBron James is regularly considered one of, if not the greatest basketball players of all time. Most people have him slightly behind Michael Jordan in the all time race, with going as far to say that he is the number one. He is known for being able to play nearly any position at an incredible level. He might also be playing against time, as well as other countries, as he has been in the NBA for an astounding twenty-one years. With that said, he is still able to perform at a high level and he hopes to get another Olympic gold medal.


Kawhi Leonard is a defensive powerhouse ready to stop any opposing country’s attacks. He was a successful teammate on the Spurs, however, most people believe that the Spurs’ dynasty was more a product of Tim Duncan than it was Kawhi. Therefore, Kawhi moved to play for the Toronto Raptors. From there, he won a championship as the primary star on his team. This cemented him as an all-time great. He is most well known for his incredible defensive play, along with his passing. With that said, his shooting ability is notthing to sneeze at. While he won a championship in Toronto, he’ll be representing the United States in Paris this summer.


Jayson Tatum has been the dominant for the Celtics over the course of the past few years. He is a force on both sides of the ball. He is always in position to make a stop on defense, and his ability to create his own shot makes him the player he is. He has led the Celtics to the finals multiple times, and been the driving force behind the playoff runs.


The team will be led by coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors. He will be assisted by Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, Gonzaga Bulldogs coach Mark Few, and Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue. Each of them has had the privilege of coaching incredible players.


As I’m sure you can see, the United States’ 2024 Olympic Basketball Team is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Their combination of generational shooters, world-class defenders, and legendary passers will make them a team for the ages.

2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Announced – USA Basketball. (2024, April 20). USA Basketball.

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