Sunday, August 24, 2008

Redeem Team Strikes Gold in Beijing!

Team USA basketball now has its spot back on the World Map. Sunday at 2am EST the "Redeem Team" as they've been dubbed, ended their 3 year quest to capture the elusive gold medals. Spain was the final team to be taken out by USA, with a closer than expected 118-107 victory Sunday morning. D-Wade had 27 points with Kobe Bryant adding 20. Kobe's Laker teammate Pau Gasol scored 21 in a losing effort. Gasol's teammate Rudy Fernandez lead the way with 22. After the victory, Team USA was quick to extend hugs and obligatory handshakes and pats to their opposition. During their steamroller trip to the Gold medal game, Team USA took down various foreign opposition including familiar NBA players. Dirk Nowitski, Yao Ming, Manu Ginobli and others were among the casualties.

This team had been carefully crafted by NBA GM Jerry Colangelo, and practiced together for a solid 3 years to make sure they could co-exist. Initial cuts were made to wittle the team down into one capable of demolishing international opponents. Gilbert Arenas, Bruce Bowen, Amare Stoudamire and Kirk Hinrich were amongst those not part of this team that finally appeared in Beijing. The final roster read like a "who's who" of the current NBA, minus the 3 superstar Celtics who are definitely up there in age. Kobe and Lebron have been the 2 most talked up superstars in the league for several years now, with debates as to who's better. In this competition, they were teammates, setting up each other for layups and spectacular dunks. Add in players such as Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, and you've got the makings of gold medalists.

Of course the debates started as to whether or not this team eclipses Dream Team 1992. That legendary team consisted of the well-respected forefathers of today's basketball: Bird, Barkley, Jordan, Ewing, David Robinson, Malone, Stockton, Pippen. You'd be hard-pressed to find a player on the 2008 roster who doesn't choose one of these 92' stars as their idol growing up. Lebron, Kobe, Melo, D-Wade and others on this team will be those legends one day, but for now they continue to achieve more milestones.

Congratulations again to Redeem Team 2008 for achieving Gold in Beijing!

Read more about Team USA winning the gold including pictures at CBS News!

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