The United States men’s national basketball team is the representative for the United States of America in international men’s basketball. It is considered as the best basketball team in the world. It comes under the FIBA Americas zone. Team USA is historically the most successful team in international competition. It has won at least one medal in every tournament it has entered.
As the nation that oversaw most of its early development, the United States possessed a clear advantage in the early decades of international play. The US men were dominant from the first Olympic tournament held in Berlin in 1936, going 5-0 to win the gold. Through the next six tournaments, the United States went undefeated.
Later after basketball took a complete turn over in the 1990s, FIBA, international basketball’s governing body, allowed professional NBA players to participate in the Olympics for the first time in 1992. The team assembled by USA Basketball for the tournament in Barcelona in 1992, was one of the most illustrious collections of talent assembled in the history of international sport. Of the 12 players on the team, 10 would be named in 1996 among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. This was called as the Dream Team. During the late 1990s, international basketball began to gather attention as more and more foreign players became stars in the NBA.
The FIBA World Championship was held in Indianapolis in Indiana in the USA where the 2002 team took part. Although the team of USA was comprised of NBA players in this tournament, the team was defeated by Argentina and further by Yugoslavia. These two teams were the first teams to achieve such a feat. Several NBA players refused to take part in this tournament and hence USA basketball was coerced to select the second-tier players.As in 2002 the basketball squad had to face a humiliating defeat several NBA superstars acceded to play for the team in the FIBA Americas Championship 2003. The reason was playing in this tournament was to qualify for the Summer Olympics in 2004. The US team easily reached the first place and obtained a spot in the Athens tournament. The new 2004 USA team mainly consisted of youngsters form NBA. They were mostly the MVPs like LeBron James, Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan. The team was in a vunerable condition when it lost to the Puerto Rico 92-73 in the initial match of the Olympic Tournament. For team USA this was the third Olympic basketball defeat and the first one for an American team that comprised of professional players. However the team got back on their feet and made it to the semi finals where they were defeated by Argentina, 89-81. Some of the renowned players like Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan announced that they were reluctant to play for the team. On the other hand the superstars like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant have declared publicly that they are committed towards the Olympics to be held in 2008.
Won 3 Gold Medals in World Championships (1954, 1986, 1994)Won 12 Gold Medals in Olympic Games