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Team Redeem- Regaining The USA Basketball  Glory - 2008 Summer Olympics.

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After Breaking The Jinx

We have already discussed that team USA was in a rut as they lost consecutively 3 world tournaments 2002 FIBA World Championships, 2004 Olympics and 2006 FIBA World Championships. The real challenge was to bring back the USA glory in the basketball as it was humiliating to stay without gold even with the best Basketball league and their star power.

The desperation can be seen from the fact that the 2008 squad consisted of 11 NBA All-Star, an NBA MVP and a Hall of Fame coach ( Mike Krzyzewski), only the best in the business were sent to redeem. The various shortcomings which earlier USA had been facing were resolved, none of the players was injured or everyone was in their culmination point.

Coach Mike has brought in Dwayne Wade, one of the best shooting guards in the NBA who missed his season for almost 2 years, directly coming in the Olympics squad. Seasoned players like Kobe Bryant, Michael Redd, Tayshaun Prince, and Jason Kidd always reminded the team members of their former glory and their motto to redeem, both on the court and off the court. Bryant had an extra responsibility of keeping the team together and exploit the quickness and speed as the strengths of Team USA.

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King Over The Great Wall of China

Apart from the above-mentioned veterans, the team had young players like NBA Rookie of the year 'Chris Paul', LeBron James, Deron Williams, Dwight Howards and Carlos Boozer. The athleticism and zeal of these young players daunted the spirits of opposite teams many a time. This combination of seasoned players, young guns, and best coach broke the jinx and brought the Gold back to the Team USA.

Mike had made it clear that the name on the front of the jersey matters not the name on the back and directed them toward more unselfish play, not relying too much on a single player.

The USA faced the host country in their first match led by the mighty Yao Ming, the zeal, and passion for basketball kept the Chinese team alive for two-quarters of the game. Everyone was aware of the injury of Yao Ming, and couldn't carry it to the end. The USA again used their experience and accelerated in the third quarter of the game. Aftermath the tournament became a cakewalk until the semifinal.

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The USA avenged their 2004 Summer Olympics by defeating Argentina by 20 points in the semifinal. The memory of 2006 FIBA was fresh and drove the Team USA against Spain in the final and American champions won over European counterparts.

The match was heavily contested by both the sides as it was a matter of their pride and honour, the game went neck to neck till the end of the third quarter, and there was no clear picture of who is dominating whom. In the fourth quarter, Kobe Bryant directed his skills and adroit pressure handling acumen to the victory of the USA National Team by 11 points.

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Edited by Moderator -PJ
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