National men's basketball teams have competed in the Olympics since its inception in 1936. However, only a few have maintained their consistency and remained successful in the competition.
The 2021 Tokyo Olympics hosted 12 national teams in the men's basketball competition, all of which fielded incredible players from around the globe. Unfortunately, only the top three teams were rewarded for their valor, and improved their global rating.
Although Team Slovenia failed to secure a medal in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics men's basketball, they were by far the most impressive team in the competition. An injury to their star player, Luka Doncic, was a factor that led to their demise.
Team Slovenia were pegged to be the dark horse of the tournament but they lost their bronze medal bout against Patty Mills and Team Australia. For being first-timers in the competition, they deserve the most praise for how far they went.
There have been nineteen Olympic men's basketball competitions since inception in 1936, with three medals given out each year. While some have never won a medal in the competition, a few are regulars.
On that note, let's take a look at the five teams with the highest medal tally in Olympics men's basketball history.
#5 France - 3 medals (1948, 2000, 2020 Olympics)
France has made ten appearances in Olympics men's basketball. However, they have managed only three medals in the competition.
Ranked seventh in the FIBA World Rankings, the French national team has enjoyed more success in the EuroBasket. They have won three silver medals in the Olympics, all of which came via losses at the hands of Team USA.
They were winners in the just concluded 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Although they beat Team USA in the group stage, they failed to replicate that performance in the finals. Team France have some young talent and will be hoping to win their first gold medal in the coming years.
#4 Spain - 4 medals (1984, 2008, 2012, 2016 Olympics)
Spain failed to make a deep run in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics as they fell to Team USA in the quarter-finals. It was the last run for the Gasol brothers in the international scene, but they could not keep up with the younger, more athletic USA roster.
The Spanish men's basketball team is ranked second in the FIBA World Rankings, but like France, most of their success has come in the EuroBasket. They have won only four medals (3 silver & 1 bronze) in the Olympics despite making 13 appearances.
#3 Yugoslavia - 5 medals (1968, 1976-1988 Olympics)
Yugoslavia was dissolved in 1991 to form five new sovereign states. However, they were a force to be reckoned with in the Olympics before the dissolution.
Team Yugoslavia won five medals in the Olympics despite making only eight appearances. Of the five medals, they have one gold, three silver, and one bronze.
Since its dissolution, only Serbia and Croatia have continued to put up decent performances in international competitions. Serbia won the silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. But with an impressive display by Team Slovenia, more states from the former Yugoslavia are asserting their dominance in international basketball.
#2 Soviet Union - 9 medals (1952 - 1980, 1988 Olympics)
Only the Soviet Union men's basketball team has been as successful and effective as Team USA has been in the Olympics. They have won medals in all of their nine appearances.
However, the Soviet Union was dissolved into 15 states, all of which have their national basketball teams. Following the dissolution, only Russia and Lithuania managed to stay relevant in international basketball. Russia has won one medal in the Olympics, while Lithuania won bronze medals in three consecutive summer games.
While the Soviet Union remained active, they bested Team USA in the 1972 Munich Olympics to clinch their first-ever gold medal in men's basketball. Their second gold medal came three years before their dissolution, at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
#1 Team USA - 19 medals (1936 - 2020 Olympics)
Team USA has been the most successful country in the Olympics, winning medals in all 19 appearances. The level of success has been incredible, with 16 of the 19 medals being gold.
Led by Kevin Durant, Team USA just won its fourth consecutive gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Despite having a shaky start in the group stage, the team bounced back and went on a 7-0 run to clinch the gold.
The USA basketball men's national team has ranked first in the FIBA rankings for a while, as they have continued to assert their dominance in the international basketball scene. The most famous names in world basketball like Michael Jordan and LeBron James have suited up for Team USA at a point in time. It is little wonder they have continually dominated the game for years unending.
Poll : Who is your MVP pick for Super Bowl LVII?