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2004 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team

Games of the XXVIIIth Olympiad -- 2004

  • Date:
    Sep 14, 2012

Athens, Greece • August 15-28, 2004

The top to bottom competitive Olympic basketball tournament FIBA envisioned for a future Olympics after rules were changed in 1989 to allow players from the NBA to play in international competitions, occurred in 2004 at the Athens Olympic Games. The Olympic basketball competition and the prestigious Olympic gold medal, once the sole property of the U.S. men's teams which had claimed gold in 12 of the 14 previous Olympic basketball competitions they had competed in between 1936 and 2000, was up for grabs in 2004. And as predicted, the Olympic men's basketball competition in 2004 was indeed the most competitive and unpredictable ever.

2004 USA RESULTS (5-3)
Puerto Rico
  USA 73
  Greece 71
  Australia 79
  USA 90
  Angola 53
  Spain 94
  USA 81
  Lithuania 96


1. Argentina (6-2) 7. Spain (6-1)
2. Italy (5-3) 8. China (2-5)
3. USA (5-3) 9. Australia (2-4)
4. Lithuania (6-2) 10. New Zealand (1-5)
5. Greece (4-3)
11. Serbia &
Montenegro (2-4)
6. Puerto Rico (3-4)

12. Angola (0-6)

In the end, Argentina did what it was unable to do in 2002 at the World Championship where it lost the championship game in overtime. In 2004, Argentina won its first basketball medal ever in the Olympics and made it gold after bettering the U.S. 89-81 in the semifinals, then defeating Italy 84-69 in the gold medal game. The U.S. squad demonstrated vulnerability to the international style of basketball, but at the same time showed dogged determination to win the bronze medal.

Opening its training July 26, after 15 practices and six exhibition games, the U.S. opened the Olympics against Puerto Rico on Aug. 15. Facing a team they had defeated three times and by an average of 23 points a game in 2003, and a team the U.S. had beaten by 25 (96-71) in Jacksonville 16 days earlier on July 31, 2004, the USA's frigid 34.7 percent shooting from the field spelled trouble as Puerto Rico opened up a 22-point lead at halftime and then fought off every U.S. comeback attempt to earn a decisive 92-73 win. Lost in the loss was Duncan's inspired effort of 15 points, 16 rebounds (11 offensive), five steals, four assists and two blocked shots in 36 minutes.

Regrouping two days later, the USA behind 17 points by Iverson, who was playing with a fractured thumb on his shooting hand, fought off host Greece and its boisterous home crowd 77-71 to get its first win. Continuing preliminary round play on Aug. 19, the U.S. fought tooth-and-nail with Australia for three quarters, then outscored the Aussies 24-12 in the fourth quarter to earn an 89-79 victory and improve to 2-1. USA co-captains Iverson and Duncan paced the U.S. Duncan finished with 18 points on deadly 7-of-11 shooting, and grabbed 11 rebounds, AI added 16 points, while Marion made 8-of-10 shots and scored 16 points also.

Facing unbeaten Lithuania on Aug. 21, a team that had challenged the USA in the 2000 Olympic semifinals before ultimately falling short by two (85-83), the USA led 84-79 with just over three minutes to play, but was unable to hold on as Lithuania made big shot after big shot to rally back for a crushing 94-90 victory. Jefferson led the USA effort accounting for 20 points, while Duncan posted his third double-double in four Olympic games, compiling 16 points (6-7 FGs) and 12 rebounds. Two days later, the U.S. again bounced back from a loss and easily defeated an overmatched Angola squad 89-53 to close out preliminary round play as Duncan recorded a team leading 15 points in just 13 minutes of action.

Finishing preliminary play with a 3-2 record and tied in the preliminary round standings with Puerto Rico and Greece, utilizing the FIBA tie-breaking formula, the U.S. was seeded fourth, meaning it would face the No. 1 seed from Group A in the medal round quarterfinals.

With Olympic medal hopes still alive, the USA took to the court in its quarterfinals match facing the Group A No. 1 seed and 5-0 Spain. The U.S. continued to show improvement and gel as a team, and behind Marbury's U.S. Olympic record 31 points and record six made 3-pointers, the U.S. battled its way to the 102-94 victory. The USA, which struggled much of the tournament with its outside shooting as teams played zoned and packed it in to control the U.S. inside dominance, posted its best shooting night of the Olympics from 3-point and made 12-of-22 shots for a 54.5 percent accuracy from 3-point.

Advancing on to the semifinals and a date with FIBA Americas Zone rival Argentina, the game was an exciting match up between two teams who were familiar with each other. It was essentially the same Argentina team that ended the USA's dominance on the senior level in 2002 at the World Championship, and the same team that was handed a pair of setbacks by the USA at the 2003 Americas Olympic Qualifier, including a lopsided 106-73 win the gold medal clash. With star center Duncan handcuffed with foul trouble most of the game, the U.S. team struggled to find its range from the outside and shot just 41.6 percent from the field and fell 89-81 to Argentina in the Olympic semifinals on Aug. 27. Marbury scored 18 points and Odom finished with 14 points and eight rebounds in the defeat that eliminated the United States from gold medal contention.

Forced to recover from the realization that a gold medal would not be claimed this time around, the U.S. faced a rematch with Lithuania in the bronze medal game on Aug. 28 and played perhaps its most inspired game from start to end.

Despite Lithuania shooting a stunning 21-of-37 (.567) from beyond the 3-point arc, the U.S. went home winners as Marion came off the bench to score 22 points to help guide the Americans to a 104-96 victory and the bronze medal. The USA shot 45.6 percent (36-79 FGs) from the floor and managed to make 8-of-18 (.444) tries beyond the 3-point line, and controlled the glass to the tune of 40-26. Also, the American squad committed only 12 turnovers to Lithuania's 20.

For the Olympics, the U.S. team was paced by Iverson who averaged 13.8 ppg. and 2.5 apg., while Duncan posted 12.9 ppg. and 9.1 rpg., and Marbury added 10.5 ppg. and a team best 3.4 apg. Marion contributed 9.9 ppg. and 5.9 rpg., Odom averaged 9.3 and 5.8 rpg., and Boozer accounted for 7.6 ppg. and 6.1 rpg.

Individually for the Olympics overall, Iverson ranked 12th in scoring and Duncan was 18th. Duncan listed third overall in rebounding, while Boozer and Marion were seventh and eighth respectively, and Odom listed 10th. In offensive rebounds, Duncan ranked No. 1 (4.50 a game) and was sixth in defensive rebounds (4.63 a game), Boozer listed tied for seventh in offensive rebounds (2.37 a game) and listed tied for ninth in defensive rebounds (3.75 a game), Odom was fifth in offensive rebounds (2.50 a game) and Marion listed ninth (2.25 a game). Odom (.569) and Duncan (.567) finished 11th and 12th respectively in field goal percentage, and Marbury ranked sixth in assists and Iverson was tied for 12th. Wade listed second in steals (2.13 spg.), Odom ranked right behind tied for third (2.0 spg.), and Iverson was tied for seventh (1.38 spg.). Duncan ended third in blocked shots (1.25 bpg.), Odom listed 13th (0.63 bpg.), and Stoudemire was tied for 15th (0.50 bpg.). Marbury ranked second in assist-turnover ratio (2.70).

The USA as a team ranked second among the 12 Olympic teams in scoring, averaging 88.1 points a game. Grabbing 38.9 rebounds a game, the U.S. ranked first in rebounding and outrebounded its opponents by an Olympic best margin of 10.8 rpg. (38.9 rpg. to 28.1 rpg.). The U.S. also ranked first in blocked shots (3.75 bpg.), first in assists (15.13 apg.) and steals (10.63 spg.), and ranked second in turnover margin (+3.00).

However, the USA struggled with its shooting. Shooting 45.9 percent overall to rank seventh, the Americans made 31.4 percent of their shots from 3-point and ranked tied for 10th. Defensively, the USA squad allowed its opponents to score 83.5 ppg., which ranked ninth overall. The U.S. ranked 10th in defensive field goal percentage as its opposition shot 48.2 percent from the field overall, and opponents made 44.1 percent from 3-point land to leave the U.S. ranked 12th in defensive 3-point field goal percentage.

The USA set several individual and team records during the '04 Games. Marbury's 31 points against Spain set a new USA single game scoring record, replacing the 30 point record set previously by Charles Barkley (versus Brazil, 7/31/92) and Adrian Dantley (versus Yugoslavia, 7/27/76), and Marbury's six made 3-point shots versus Spain broke Reggie Miller's old game record of five (versus China, 7/26/96). Iverson established a new single game mark for 3-point shots attempted, launching 10 versus Puerto Rico to pass Reggie Miller's previous record of eight (versus China,7/26/96), and Duncan's 16 rebounds against Puerto Rico tied the USA single game record of 16 set by Jim Brewer (versus Australia, 9/28/72).

Duncan tied the U.S. mark for most rebounds in an Olympics with 73 (9.1 rpg.), equaling the mark set by Kevin Garnett in 2000. In U.S. career Olympic records, Duncan ranks tied for fifth in rebounds with 73, while Boozer positioned his name 10th (49). Boozer also now lists eighth for field goal percentage (.625), while Odom lists tied for fifth in 3-point percentage (.500). Duncan added his named to the U.S. career blocked shot leaders and ranks fifth (10), while Wade lists tied for 10th for steals (17).

The U.S. also tied a single game record for 3-point shots made in a game after sinking 12 versus Spain, and the '04 squad re-wrote the USA record for 3-point shots attempted in an Olympics with 140.


Carmelo Anthony F 6-8 229 20 Denver Nuggets (Syracuse) Denver, CO
Carlos Boozer F 6-9 258 22 Utah Jazz (Duke) Bratenahl, OH
Tim Duncan C 7-0 248 28 San antonio Spurs (Wake Forest) San Antonio, TX
Allen Iverson G 6-0 165 29 Philadelphia 76ers (Georgetown) Villanova, PA
LeBron James G 6-8 240 19 Cleveland Cavaliers (St. Vincent-St. Mary H.S.) Cleveland, OH
Richard Jefferson F 6-7 222 24 New Jersey Nets (Arizona) West New York, NJ
Stephon Marbury G 6-2 205 27 New York Knicks (Georgia Tech) Purchase, NY
Shawn Marion F 6-7 215 26 Phoenix Suns (UNLV) Paradise Valley, AZ
Lamar Odom F 6-10 225 24 Los Angeles Lakers (Rhode Island) Miami, FL
Emeka Okafor F 6-10 252 21 Charlotte Bobcats (Connecticut) Houston, TX
Amar'e Stoudemire F 6-10 245 21 Phoenix Suns (Cypress Creek High School) Phoenix, AZ
Dwyane Wade G 6-4 212 22 Miami Heat (Marquette) Miami, FL
HEAD COACH: Larry Brown, Detroit Pistons
ASSISTANT COACH: Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
ASSISTANT COACH: Oliver Purnell, Clemson University
ASSISTANT COACH: Roy Williams, University of North Carolina
TEAM PHYSICIAN: Sheldon Burns, Minnesota Timberwolves
TEAM PHYSICIAN: Tony Daly, Los Angeles Clippers
ATHLETIC TRAINER: David Craig, Indiana Pacers
ATHLETIC TRAINER: Tim Walsh, New Jersey Nets


Iverson 8/8 34- 90 .378 15- 41 .366 27-38 .711 13/ 1.6 110/13.8 20 1 11
Duncan 8/8 38- 67 .567 0- 2 .000 27-36 .750 73/ 9.1 103/12.9 13 10 6
Marbury 8/8 30- 71 .423 10- 31 .323 14-19 .737 10/ 1.3 84/10.5 27 0 7
Marion 8/0 34- 64 .531 4- 10 .400 7-9 .778 47/ 5.9 79/9.9 6 3 9
Odom 8/8 29- 51 .569 4- 8 .500 12-23 .522 46/ 5.8 74/9.3 11 5 16
Boozer 8/0 20- 32 .625 0- 0 .--- 21-32 .656 49/ 6.1 61/7.6 3 1 6
Wade 8/0 21- 55 .382 0- 3 .000 16-23 .696 15/ 1.9 58/7.3 19 3 17
Jefferson 8/8 18- 56 .321 6- 23 .261 12-22 .545 22/ 2.8 54/6.8 8 3 2
James 8/0 19- 32 .594 3- 10 .300 2-2 1.000 8/ 1.0 43/5.4 13 0 6
Stoudemire 8/0 9- 16 .563 0- 1 .000 4-8 .500 14/ 1.8 22/2.8 1 4 3
Anthony 7/0 7- 28 .250 2- 11 .182 1-2 .500 11/ 1.6 17/2.4 0 0 2
Okafor 2/0 0- 2 .000 0- 0 .--- 0-0 .--- 3/ 1.5 0/0.0 0 0 0
USA 8 259-564 .459 44-140 .314 143-214 .668 311/38.9 705/88.1 121 30 85
OPP. 8 233-483 .482 86-195 .441 116-171 .678 225/28.1 668/83.5 88 19 45

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