Team USA did it! The men’s basketball team won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. This was their second straight gold in basketball and 14th overall for the US. On a side-note, the USA women’s basketball team also won gold. It was their fifth consecutive gold medal.
Since the USA “Dream Team” in 1992, we haven’t had a really good team, and people wondered if this year’s “Redeem Team” would be able to get the United States back on track with gold medals in basketball. They won it in 2008, but had to fight hard for it. It was expected that they might not be able to win it this year, and if they did, it would be the same story.. It was. Leading by only one point after three quarters, they pushed ahead to a 107-100 victory. While they were able to dominate most teams, Lithuania, Argentina, and Spain gave us a run for our money. Still, we won every game this year, including all of the preliminary games.
This was the last year that Mike Krzyzewski would coach for them, as well as the last year that Kobe Bryant would play for them. I’m very happy they were able to go out with gold. The 65-year-old coach Krzyzewski now has an amazing record of 62-1 since he started coaching USA basketball teams.
This year, Team USA averaged a whopping 117 points per game.. and remember, these are only 40 minute games! They also lead the tournament in eight statistical categories, with laughably lopsided advantages in points off turnovers (198-77) and fast-break points (175-55). It was amazing how well everyone on the team performed. In the game before this, Kobe Bryant was off to a bad start, missing a bunch of shots.. so he kept at it. He then ended up making three 3-pointers in a row, one of them off of a steal where he ran down, stopped at the 3-point line and shot right away. He went on to make three more. Another big contributor was Kevin Durant who was making 3-pointers left and right throughout the Olympics. In the gold medal game, he scored 30 points, making five three-pointers and 9 of 10 free throws. He also now holds the record for the most points scored in a single Olympics with 156! LeBron James had was a huge part of the team too. While he was mostly a play-maker, he scored 19 in the finals. That day, he joined Michael Jordan as the only players to win the NBA title, regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold in the same year! He also now holds the record for the most career Olympic basketball points by any one person ever with 273!
James isn’t sure if he will return after he, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Deron Williams joined a list of 13 Americans who have won multiple gold medals. Will the 2016 Olympic basketball team be able to keep this win streak going even though some key players (and their coach) may not return? I think it’s likely, but at this point, who cares? We just won consecutive gold medals and set all sorts of new records!
I would also like to point out that the United States lead the 2012 Summer Olympcs as a whole with the most medals won total, as well as the most of each type. Here’s the top of the chart for the final count:
Here’s a recap:
Thanks for reading,