We will never know if this 2012 team could beat the 1992 “Dream Team” and frankly I don’t care.
What I do care about is with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter and the game in the bag, the United States greatest basketball players acted like 9 year olds who just won their youth league championship.
Now I’m not old enough to remember many USA teams winning gold but I know I haven’t seen pure enjoyment and team encouragement like I did with this team.
In Kobe Bryant and Coach K’s last Olympics they showed us why the legacy they built is nothing short of historic.
Bryant can talk about not passing the torch all he wants and that “he’s still got it.” And while the latter may be true, he definitely passed the Olympic torch to LeBron and Durant. Now the 2012-2013 NBA season may be a little different.
“This is it for me,” said Bryant, who scored 17 points. “The other guys are good to go.”
This is Bryant’s second gold medal (2008, Beijing).
Kevin Durant scored 30 points once again leading the scoring charge for the U.S.
We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We didn’t want it easy,” LeBron James said. “A lot of teams have won gold easy, we didn’t want it that way.”
James finished with 19 points joining Michael Jordan as the only players to win the NBA title, regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold in the same year.
“Its not about me, it’s about the three letters on the front of the jersey,” James said.
Pau Gasol scored 24 points and Juan Carlos Navarro had 21 for Spain who’s now lost back to back gold medal games to the U.S, both by seven points.
“I am disappointed, but on the other side I’m very proud how of the we competed, how we played,” Gasol said.
With the Olympics over there are two and a half months until the NBA season kicks off, I’m sure we won’t be seeing any LeBron and Kobe hugs anytime soon.