27 Jul
    10 Aug 2024

    Qualified Team Focus - USA: The Americans determined to win fifth straight gold

    MIES (Switzerland) - The draw for the Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament Paris 2024 is complete. It is now time to meet the 12 teams that can still dream of the gold medal this summer. This time: USA.

    MIES (Switzerland) - The draw for the Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament Paris 2024 was held on March 19. It is now time to meet the teams that have already qualified for the Olympics  with the dream of becoming Olympic champions this summer.

    Here is the number 1 team in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, the 16-time Olympic gold medalists United States of America.

    USA have been a world superpower at the Olympics, taking the gold medal 16 times in the 20 Olympic Games. The Americans have won the gold the last four Olympics, settling for bronze in 2004. They also won bronze in 1988 and took silver in 1972.

    How they qualified



    USA went to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 ready to finally reclaim the trophy for the first time since 2014. Things were looking good in Asia last summer with four straight wins to start the tournament. Then the Americans lost to Lithuania 110-104 in the final game of the group stage.

    USA regrouped in the Knockout Phase to defeat Italy to reach the Semi-Finals. That victory also locked up a spot at Paris 2024 since USA were among the top two placed teams from the Americas region in FIBA's flagship event.

    The Americans would probably like to forget the rest of the tournament though, losing to Germany 113-111 in the Semi-Finals and then 127-118 in overtime to Canada in the Third-Place Game to go home empty-handed for the second straight FIBA World Cup.

    Record at the Olympics

    Appearances: 19 - 1936 (1st); 1948 (1st); 1952 (1st); 1956 (1st); 1960 (1st); 1964 (1st); 1968 (1st); 1972 (2nd); 1976 (1st); 1984 (1st); 1988 (3rd); 1992 (1st); 1996 (1st); 2000 (1st); 2004 (3rd); 2008 (1st); 2012 (1st), 2016 (1st); 2020 (1st)

    Medals: 19 -🥇(1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1976, 1984, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020)🥈(1972) 🥉(1988, 2004)

    Last appearance 

    The Tokyo Olympics took place while the Covid pandemic was still affecting the world. The start of the 2020-21 NBA season had been delayed and the playoffs were taking place while other countries were already practicing. USA were already limited in time to work together as a team, and the NBA Finals did not conclude until July 20, meaning three of the USA team members missed the entire training camp and pre-Olympic exhibition games.

    Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton from the champions Milwaukee Bucks and Devin Booker from the runners-up Phoenix Suns were on hand for the Americans' first game on July 25, but this was not a close knit group.

    And it showed as France defeated USA 83-76 in the opening game of the tournament for the teams, snapping the Americans' 25-game winning streak in the Olympics. It was just the USA's sixth loss in Olympics history. USA would bounce back to ease past Iran and Czech Republic in the other group games and then fend off Spain 95-81 in the Quarter-Finals and down Australia 97-78 in the Semi-Finals.

    Waiting in the Gold Medal Game was France - a chance for redemption for the Americans and right the wrongs from the preparations and the first game. Superstar Kevin Durant scored 29 points including two free throws with 8 seconds left to seal the game in an 87-82 victory. Jayson Tatum added 19 points off the bench as USA claimed the gold medal for a fourth straight time.

    The 2024 Group Phase 

    The Americans start the Olympics with one of the top games of the Group Phase as they take on Serbia. Two of the biggest nations in world basketball have faced off in massive games in the past including USA's wins over Serbia in the 2014 World Cup Final and the 2016 Olympics gold medal game.

    Knowing winning the game most likely means first place in the group, the Serbia - USA matchup should be a great one. It will also include many of the top stars the world game has to offer.

    USA will then square off against the ultimate Cinderella with South Sudan being a country that has only existed since 2011 and is making its Olympic debut one summer after debuting at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. And the third game will be against the winner of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament Puerto Rico. The biggest favorites going into that OQT are Italy, Lithuania and Puerto Rico.

    USA Group Phase games

    vs Serbia (July 28)
    vs South Sudan (July 31)
    vs Winner OQT Puerto Rico (August 3)

    Players to watch

    USA's superstars started announcing their intentions to play at the Olympics almost directly after the Americans failed to take the title at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

    The USA roster should feature many of the superstars of the NBA including players like LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant and James Harden among others.

    Qualified Team Focus series

    During coming weeks and months, we will continue to check out all teams aiming for a medal at Paris 2024 as part of our Qualified Team Focus series.



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