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2008 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team

Games of the XXIXth Olympiad -- 2008

  • Date:
    Sep 14, 2012

Beijing, China  - August 10-24, 2008


In the Chinese culture, the number eight is believed to be a very lucky number.

And as"luck" would have it, the 2008 Olympics were held in Beijing, China, and featured lots of eights. Like 2008, or the start date of the Olympics:  08-08-08. Never mind that the word Olympics has eight letters, and it is probably silly to note that the basketball competition was held at Wukesong, which of course is spelled with eight letters.

2008 U.S. RESULTS (8-0)
USA
101
  China   70
USA
97
  Angola   76
USA
92
  Greece   69
USA
119
  Spain   82
USA
106
  Germany   57
USA
116
  Australia   85
USA
101
  Argentina   81
USA
118
  Spain 107

2008 OLYMPIC GAMES FINAL STANDINGS

1. USA (8-0)   7. Australia (3-3)
2. Spain (6-2)   8. China (2-4)
3. Argentina (6-2)   9. Russia (1-4)
4. Lithuania (5-3) 10. Germany (1-4)
5. Greece (3-3) 11. Iran (0-5)
6. Croatia (3-3)

12. Angola (0-5)

After the disappointing bronze medal result in the 2004 Athens Olympics and without a gold medal finish in a major international competition since the 2000 Olympics, USA Basketball in 2005 set off in a totally new direction with its men's senior national team. side the old committee system used for selecting its senior teams, Jerry Colangelo, the respected former Phoenix Suns chairman and CEO, was selected by USA Basketball's Executive Committee to serve in the newly created position of managing director of the USA Men's Senior National Team program for 2005-2008.

Building a program that ultimately consisted of 33 of this country's best players, and the very best coaches, Colangelo and USA Basketball proceeded to create a true USA Senior National Team program that sought a three-year commitment from its coaches and players.

Of the 12 players selected for the 2008 Olympic team, six were part of the 2006 USA Basketball Men's World Championship Team, and eight were part of the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship that qualified the U.S. for the 2008 Olympics. Three players - Anthony, Howard and James, were members of both teams.

-If we didn't have the three years together, we wouldn't have won this game (versus Spain) because the three years gave us character to beat a great team that had great character in Spain," acknowledged Krzyzewski following the USA's gold medal victory.

The U.S. opened Olympic play facing host China . The teams played in front of a standing room only Wukesong crowd that included President George W. Bush and former President Bush. An estimated one billion people would view the game's worldwide telecast. The USA team did not disappoint. Led by 19 points and 7-of-7 shooting from the field from Dwyane Wade, the U.S. thumped China 101-70. The U.S. simply had too many weapons for Africa champ Angola to make the Aug. 12 game suspenseful, and behind Wade's 19 points and five rebounds, the U.S. coasted past Angola for an easy 97-76 win. Some revenge was achieved when the Americans pounded Greece, who defeated the USA in the 2006 World Championship semifinals, 92-69 as Chris Bosh and Kobe Bryant each contributed 18 points.

There was no letdown two nights later on Aug. 16 when the U.S. hammered defending world champion Spain 119-82. Everybody scored for the USA , including eight players in double figures. LeBron James led the way with 18 points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals; Carmelo Anthony shot 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc to help tally 16 points and six rebounds; and Wade added 16 points and six rebounds.

The USA squad closed out preliminary round play on Aug. 18 with a spotless 5-0 record after flying past Germany 106-57. Everybody scored for the USA , led by 22 points and 10 rebounds from Dwight Howard, who shot 9-of-10 from the field. In finishing preliminary play 5-0, the Americans dominated their opponents by an average of 32.2 points a game.

A rugged Australian squad, which had fought the U.S. to an 11-point loss just 10 days earlier during the team's final pre-Olympic warm-up, fell to the roadside in the quarterfinals as the U.S. powered its way to an impressive 116-85 victory. Kobe Bryant turned in a 25-point performance as all 12 U.S. players again scored in the contest, including five in double figures.

Defending Olympic champion Argentina, who had eliminated the USA from the gold medal hunt in the 2004 Olympics, was next up for the USA in the medal round semifinals. Stomping on the gas pedal right from the opening tip, the gang of red, white and blue sprinted ahead 30-11 in the first quarter and went on to record an impressive 101-81 victory. Anthony, who made 13-of-13 free throws to set U.S. Olympic game records for made free throws and free throw percentage, led the way with 21 points. James added 15 points and five rebounds; Bryant, Chris Paul and Wade each scored 12 points; Chris Bosh tallied an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double; and Howard contributed 10 points and nine rebounds.

The gold medal clash was a return encore feature. The game was everything a gold medal game should be. A tight affair for the full 40 minutes, following two points from Pau Gasol with 3:32 remaining in the game pulled Spain within five points, 104-99. Bryant answered by drilling a 3-pointer while drawing Rudy Fernandez', who had a Spain high 22 points, fifth and final foul. Bryant sank the free throw for a four-point play that restored the U.S. advantage to 108-99. Carlos Jimenez' 3-pointer at 2:25 cut the U.S. lead again to four,108-104, and this time it was Wade who dealt the final blow with his fourth 3-pointer of the game that put the USA back up by seven, 111-104, with 2:04 left.

When the final horn sounded, the U.S. had fought to a thrilling 118-107 gold-medal victory against Spain in a game USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski described as -one of the great games in international basketball history."

-We did this together as a team, which is what makes it feel that much better," said Wade of his experience.

The U.S. was propelled to the win by 27 points from Wade and 20 points from Bryant. James added 14 points and six rebounds; Paul tallied 13 points and five assists and shot 9-of-10 from the free throw line; Anthony also added 13 points to round out the USA 's double-digit scorers; while Bosh contributed eight points and a team best seven rebounds.

In claiming the gold, the USA featured a true team that was 12 deep. Five players finised with double digit scoring averages and eight players averaged between 16.0 ppg. and 8.0 ppg. The USA's offensive effort was paced by Wade, 16.0 ppg.; James, 15.5 ppg.; Bryant, 15.0 ppg.; Anthony, 11.5 ppg.; and Howard, 10.9 ppg. Bosh added 9.1 ppg., Williams and Paul each contributed 8.0 ppg. Bosh led the USA's rebounding grabbing 6.1 boards a game, while Howard added 5.8 rpg., James averaged 5.3 rpg. and Anthony hauled in another 4.2 rpg. The USA shared the ball well as was evident by the assists averages - Paul, 4.1 apg.; James, 3.8 apg.; Deron Williams, 2.8 apg.; Bryant, 2.1 apg.; and Jason Kidd, 2.0 apg.

Among the 12 teams, the USA finished ranked first in 11of 19 team statistical categories, and ranked second in another four statistical categories. The U.S. led the field in scoring offense (106.2), scoring margin (+27.8), field goal percentage (.550), defensive field goal percentage (.403), defensive 3-point field goal percentage (.299), rebounding (41.5), defensive rebounds (29.63), assists (18.75), steals (12.13), blocked shots (3.88), and assist/turnover ratio (+1.36).

Individually, USA team members, despite playing fewer minutes across the board than members of other teams, were heavily sprinkled in among the statistical leaders for the tournament. Wade ranked ninth in scoring, James was 11th, Bryant 12th and Anthony listed 27th. Bosh and Howard listed one-two for field goal percentage, with Wade, fourth, and James, ninth, rounding out the top 10. Bosh, James and Howard ranked 11th, 13th and 16th, respectively, for rebounding, and Paul, fourth, James, sixth, and Williams, 13th found themselves listed among the assist leaders. James ranked fourth in steals, Paul and Wade were tied for fifth in steals, while James ranked seventh in blocked shots and was joined in the top 10 by Howard, eighth, and Bosh, 10th. Bryant listed fifth in 3-point field goals made and Anthony ranked 15th, while Wade listed 12th for 3-point percentage and James was right behind in 13th. Paul finished third in assist/turnover ratio and James was two back in fifth.

As a team, the U.S. set single game USA records for 3-point field goals made and attempted, while individual game marks were set for Anthony for made free throws and highest free throw percentage. Wade's 27 point explosion against Spain in the gold medal clash ranks as the sixth (tied) highest single game scoring effort.

The USA established new U.S. Olympic competition records for 3-point field goals made and attempted, while Bosh's field goal percentage ranks second best ever and Howard lists third. Tayshaun Prince finds himself ranked fourth for 3-point field goal percentage and James is tied for fourth for steals.

Several members of the 2008 team earned a spot among the USA's career leaders for the Olympics. James, Kidd and Wade join nine other players who are tied for second for games played with 16. Wade's 186 points scored in two Olympics ranks him fifth, and James lists eighth with 167. Boozer's 64 career rebounds ranks tied for seventh, while Kidd's 63 boards are ninth. Bosh and Howard rank first and second for field goal percentage, and Prince lists third for 3-point percentage. Paul is tied for seventh for free throw percentage, while Kidd moved into seventh for assists and James is listed eighth. James ranks tied for sixth for blocked shots, Howard is tied for eight in blocks, and Wade is listed third for steals (35) and James ranks seventh (25).

With the gold medal effort, Kidd became just the 13th U.S. male player in history to collect two gold medals; while Kidd, Anthony, Boozer, James and Wade now belong to a small group of just 18 two-time U.S. Olympic basketball team members.

"We all jelled together as a team. These are relationships and bonds that we shared and will never forget. It lasts forever," said Bryant.

2008 U.S. MEN'S OLYMPIC TEAM ROSTER

NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
AGE
AFFILIATION (SCHOOL) HOMETOWN
Carmelo Anthony
F
6-8
230
24
Denver Nuggets (Syracuse) Littleton, CO
Carlos Boozer
F
6-9
258
26
Utah Jazz (Duke) Salt Lake City, UT
Chris Bosh
F
6-10
230
24
Toronto Raptors (Georgia Tech) Toronto, Canada
Kobe Bryant
G
6-6
220
30
Los Angeles Lakers
(Lower Merion High School)
Newport Coast, CA
Dwight Howard
C
6-11
265
22
Orlando Magic
(Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy)
Windemere, FL
LeBron James
F
6-8
240
23
Cleveland Cavaliers
(St. Vincent-St. Mary High School)
Wadsworth, OH
Jason Kidd
G
6-4
212
35
Dallas Mavericks (California) Nutley, NJ
Chris Paul
G
6-0
170
23
New Orleans Hornets (Wake Forest) New Orleans, LA
Tayshaun Prince
F
6-9
205
28
Detroit Pistons (Kentucky) Oakland Township, MI
Michael Redd
G
6-6
215
29
Milwaukee Bucks (Ohio State) Powell, OH
Dwyane Wade
G
6-4
212
26
Miami Heat (Marquette) Miami, FL
Deron Williams
G
6-3
205
24
Utah Jazz (Illinois) Salt Lake City, UT
HEAD COACH: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University
ASSISTANT COACH: Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University
ASSISTANT COACH: Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks
ASSISTANT COACH: Nate McMillan, Portland Trail Blazers
TEAM PHYSICIAN: Sheldon Bruns, Minnesota Timberwolves
ATHLETIC TRAINER: Keith Jones, Houston Rockets
ATHLETIC TRAINER: Casey Smith, Dallas Mavericks
MANAGING DIRECTOR: Jerry Colangelo

2008 U.S. MEN'S OLYMPIC TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

G/S
FGM-FGA
PCT
3PM-3PA
PCT
FTM-FTA
PCT
REB/AVG
PTS/AVG
AST
BLK
STL
Wade  8/0
47- 70
.671
8-17
.471
26-41
.634
32/ 4.0
128/ 16.0
15
1
18
James  8/8
50- 83
.602
13-28
.464
11-24
.458
42/ 5.3
124/ 15.5
30
8
19
Bryant  8/8
48-104
.462
17-53
.321
7-12
.583
22/ 2.8
120/ 15.0
17
4
9
Anthony  8/8
27- 64
.422
14-37
.378
24-29
.828
34/ 4.3
  92/ 11.5
3
2
8
Howard  8/8
35- 47
.745
0- 0
.---
17-37
.459
46/ 5.8
  87/ 10.9
4
7
5
Bosh  8/0
24- 31
.774
0- 0
.---
25-29
.862
49/ 6.1
  73/   9.1
2
6
2
Williams  8/0
23- 52
.442
9-24
.375
9-10
.900
18/ 2.3
  64/   8.0
22
0
6
Paul  8/0
19- 38
.500
4-14
.286
22-24
.917
29/ 3.6
  64/   8.0
33
0
18
Prince  8/0
13- 22
.591
6-11
.545
2- 5
.500
15/ 1.9
  34/   4.3
2
1
3
Boozer  8/0
10- 18
.556
0- 0
.---
6- 8
.750
15/ 1.9
  26/   3.3
2
0
2
Redd  8/0
10- 31
.323
5-18
.278
0- 1
.000
  9/ 1.1
  25/   3.1
4
0
2
Kidd  8/8
6- 7
.857
1- 2
.500
0- 0
.---
21/ 2.6
  13/   1.6
16
2
5
USA  8
312-567
.550
77-204
.377
149-219
.680
332/41.5
850/106.2
150
31
97
OPP.  8
222-551
.403
60-201
.299
123-156
.788
287/35.9
627/ 78.4
85
29
53

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