This summer, I’ll be in London. Amongst other debauchery, I’m there for the Olympics. More specifically, I’m there for Team USA basketball. In my two weeks abroad, I’ll focus my attention on the best Olympic team since “The Dream Team.” Recently, 20 ridiculously talented finalists were announced for the roster. Any 12 of this bunch could win the gold, but when I stumble out of an anonymous pub, craving a chicken finger and a Whitesnake song, these are the 12 NBA players that will give me a taste of home.
Chris Paul – Obvious option. USA is light on point guard’s number wise, but Paul is one of the world’s best. Can create in a half-court offense as well as any point guard in the NBA. Also, Chris Paul is a good fantasy basketball pick.
Kobe Bryant – If I have to explain why I want Kobe Bryant on the USA Men’s basketball team, you should reevaluate the last 10 years of your life. Also, Kobe Bryant is a good fantasy basketball pick.
LeBron James – Huge part of team USA. Has some of the best vision and passing skills on the roster and provides an impossible match-up for undersized 2 and 3 guards for other countries. Also, LeBron James is a good fantasy basketball pick.
Chris Bosh – This choice killed me. I of course wanted to leave him off the list, but I just couldn’t. He’s a tall body that can match the shooting of the European big men. If he cries, I move to Canada. Also, Chris Bosh is a good fantasy basketball pick.
Dwight Howard – Absolutely essential. Big men are the key to a gold medal and none is as important as Howard. The team needs physical bodies that can absorb contact. Shot blocking will be big against the Gasols, who are also on Spain. Keep an eye on his foul shooting, as always, it could be important late in big games. Also, Dwight Howard is a good fantasy basketball pick.
Kevin Durant – A lock for Team USA. A pure scorer that can dominate mismatched zones. And a nice opportunity to watch one of my brightest fantasy pupils in the flesh. Also, Kevin Durant is a good fantasy basketball pick.
Dwyane Wade – Working with two of his Heat teammates he will provide some excellent tempo to slow down the inevitable match-up with team Spain’s Ricky Rubio. Also, Dwyane Wade is a good fantasy basketball pick.
Kevin Love – The humblest and most low-key of all big men, Kevin Love might just be the best. No question his absurd amount of double-doubles will translate to the international stage, where he’ll be facing the same European bigs he currently dominates. Versatile as a center/forward. Also, Kevin Love is a good fantasy basketball pick.
Deron Williams – Strictly numerically, USA needs three point guards. Runs an offense well, and more importantly, is a strong shooter. Another fantasy disciple in person, pinch me. Deron Williams is a good fantasy basketball pick.
Derrick Rose – His tempo and vision on a team of scorers makes him a personal favorite. Might not get the best stats, but with him as point guard, our superstars will be getting the ball in position to score. Will need to shoot against zone defenses. Also, Derrick Rose is a good fantasy basketball pick.
*Russell Westbrook - Will likely play instead of Rose, but personally, I think Westbrook will struggle sharing the ball with such a potent offense. However, Russell Westbrook is a good fantasy basketball pick.
Carmelo Anthony – USA is overloaded with scoring machines. Still, Anthony always plays well internationally, and his friendship with the other superstars bodes well. Will continue to be a versatile forward as he was in passed Olympics. Also, Carmelo Anthony is a good fantasy basketball pick.
Blake Griffin – Can you blame me? It’s completely unrealistic, but if I’ve been drinking Guinness for 5 hours, I want to see some excitement. Imagine Chris Paul throwing alley-oops to Griffin over 5 foot Asian men. Also, Blake Griffin is a good fantasy absketball pick.
*This is completely my personal preference. More likely, Andre Iguodala will make the roster as a defensive stopper, but who needs that defense stuff anyway? If there’s another bench player I’d like to see, it’s LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s big, has a mid-range game, and is an undeniable boss. Both LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Igoudala are good fantasy basketball picks.