This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team. Consisting of 11 future hall-of-famers, the 1992 USA Men’s National Basketball Team is widely considered the greatest team, in any sport, ever assembled. The USA has won 3 of 4 medals since the Barcelona games, but no team has ever dominated like the Dream Team did. With the 2012 roster down to 20 players, Coach K will have to widdle Team USA down to 12 players come July. Who should Coach K keep so the USA can bring home gold?

Starters

Chris Paul, PG, Lewisville, NC: Chris Paul was out of the spotlight in New Orleans, but after being traded to the Clippers, Paul was thrust into the media microscope. Paul handled the intense pressure easily and proved to me that he is one of the best point guards ever. Paul won the 2008 gold medal with the “Redeem Team” and is the perfect fit for a stacked team like this one. Chris Paul spreads the ball around for 46 minutes and steps up the last two, leading his team to victories. As an overall great, fun teammate, and friend of everyone, Paul will be Team USA’s glue.

Kobe Brant, SG, Philadelphia, PA: Kobe’s game has been slipping, but it is still better than most people’s game in their prime. After his Lakers self destructed, Kobe will want to prove to the world that he is still the NBA’s top dog. In NBA TV’s The Dream Team documentary, players spoke of a scrimmage where half the squad, led by Magic, faced off against the other half and MJ. Magic still thought he was Mr. NBA, but MJ felt it was his time for the throne. After getting slaughtered, Magic relented. It was MJ’s league. I’d imagine there will be some LeBron or KD vs. Kobe scrimmages in this year’s training camp.

Kevin Durant, SF, Washington, D.C.: If KD doesn’t make this team I will jump off of a cliff. Not only is he my favorite player, the world’s best scorer, and most humble person in the whole entire basketball world, but it was the Durantula who personally called and convinced the members of the 2010 FIBA World Championship (like the World Cup of Basketball) to play for Team USA. LeBron and Kobe were out. Didn’t matter. KD loves basketball. He’s like my dog, Millie. If you utter the word, “walk” within a 100-foot radius of her, her ears perk up, she wakes up from her nap, then goes bonkers. The only difference is KD’s trigger word is basketball. Plus, could you think of a better guy to represent our nation? KD for 2012!

LeBron James, PF, Akron, OH: Should I pull out the chart again? I’ll pull out the chart again.

He’s THAT much better than everyone else.

That is how we represent the USA!!

Kevin Love, C, Santa Monica, CA: Yes, I have a creepy man crush on Kevin Love, but I have reason. He’s a walking double-double every night, and he gives this American squad help at its major weakness—height, He can also grow an awesome mustache. He’s athletic and can shoot a 3, so will fit perfectly if Team USA will run a fast break. Remember, 2 years ago Kevin Love had 30 points and 30 rebounds in a game (something that hadn’t been done in 28 years) and had 53 straight double-doubles.

Sixth Men

 Carmelo Anthony, SF, Brooklyn, NY: Melo is often called the best international player in the world, and with Melo standing at 6’8 and weighing 230 lb, he will give the USA some of the size they lack. Melo disappointed in New York this season, but he will be the first one off the bench in London.

Dwayne Wade, SG, Chicago, IL: D-Wade has been to two Olympics before and shined in Beijing. The media have criticized Wade’s play in these playoffs, but that doesn’t mean Wade shouldn’t play this summer. He is still the same guy that carried the entire 2006 Heat on his back to win the NBA Championship. He’s still the guy that the Heat give the ball to in crunch time. He’s still going to be wearing red-white-and blue in London.

Deron Williams, PG, Parkersburg, WV: Deron Williams irks me. I despise him. Ever since he got Jerry Sloan, one of the greatest coaches in history fired, then ran from the scene in Utah, I’ve wanted his name to be on the FBI’s most wanted list. Nevertheless, the guy can play. With Derrick Rose hurt, Team USA will need point guard help, and no one in the NBA other than Chris Paul is more of a pure point guard than Williams. He passes first (8.7 assists per game), yet still found a way to score 50 points in a game. He plays on the awful Brooklyn Nets (yeah, I said Brooklyn), so he isn’t a household name, but he has the talent to be. He might be a world class jerk (at least in my mind, I’ve never met the guy), but he’ll come in handy for Team USA when Chris Paul needs a breather.

Bench

The Brow!!

 Anthony Davis, PF/C, Chicago, IL: He’s not in the NBA yet, but he could be. The former Kentucky big-man dominated college basketball last season, winning every award possible and leading the NCAA in blocks. The Brow is a freak of nature. At the beginning of his junior year of high school he was 6’3. When he played his first college basketball game he stood at 6’10, with a 7’3 wind span, complete with an 11 inch unibrow. Davis is one of the most exciting college players in a long time, and I know every basketball fan in America would be grateful if Davis were put on this team, so we could see how he stacks up against the NBA’s big guns.

 James Harden, SG, Los Angeles, CA: Mostly everyone on this team is the guy on their team. Not James Harden. He doesn’t even start. While D-Wade and Melo will be wondering why they’re on the bench, Harden will be familiar with the feeling. The 6th Man of the Year averages 16.8 points per game, but more importantly finds ways to drive to the basket and put the ball in the hoop. Harden wouldn’t play much on this team, but could be useful in a late-game, big shot situation.

 Tyson Chandler, C, Hanford, CA: Chandler is the best defender in the NBA. He is an ultimate team player. He doesn’t care about his stats or popularity, he only cares about the “W” and will do whatever it takes to get it. With an elite point guard like Chris Paul to give him the ball, Chandler could be Team USA’s secret weapon in London.

Russell Westbrook, PG/SG, Long Beach, CA: During these Finals, nearly everyone is calling for Westbrook to pass more, to be less aggressive. Do you know who’s telling Russell to keep doing what he’s doing? His teammates and coach. I’m a Thunder fan. I’ve watched Westbrook all year. He’s always over aggressive and shoots too much. That’s his game. Most of the time those shots fall, they’re just not falling right now. Russell is a dynamic, athletic playmaker who will provide some firepower coming off the bench for the Americans. Russell is the world’s hardest worker. The shots might not be falling now, but come July, Russell will be making it rain.

This team could dominate anyone in the world. If Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard weren’t out with injuries this could’ve been the next Dream Team, but let’s be realistic there will never be another dream team. 11 hall-of-famers on one team? That’s ridonkulis. This team probably has 5 sure-fire hall-of-famers (right now) in Chris Paul, Kobe, KD, King James, and D-Wade. That is pretty impressive. I expect the Star Spangled Banner to be blasting at the medal ceremony in London. This team won’t go down as the best basketball team ever, but they’ll be known as the ugliest. The Brow, The Beard and his teeth, Russell Westbrook’s weird peach fuzz mustache, D-Wade the Beaver, Deron Williams the woodchuck,  and KD’s acne will make this team one for the record books.

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