Representing the United States when it comes to the Olympics or FIBA is a huge honor for basketball players as they try to make their country proud. Specifically for Team USA, it comes with a lot of pressure to excel and frankly dominate the competition as that is the expectation from fans.
There have been two notable USA teams, the ‘Dream Team’ and the ‘Redeem Team,’ that featured the greatest talents to ever touch a basketball. The ‘Dream Team’ featured Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson along with Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton and more. Then the ‘Redeem Team’ featured Lakers legends Kobe Bryant and LeBron James along with Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Jason Kid and more.
There is a lot of high-level talent featured on both teams, implying how serious NBA stars take representing the country and winning gold medals. Those two teams are the most notable in Team USA history and now with FIBA World Cup approaching, this 2023 roster features a young roster with limited experience.
However, the team has shown flashes in their exhibition games, winning three straight, with Lakers guard Austin Reaves being a spark off the bench. With this being Reaves’ first time playing for Team USA, he shared what his all-time USA starting five would be with him in the lineup, via, FIBAWC:
“Oh wow, definitely got to go Kobe [Bryant], MJ [Michael Jordan], Bron [LeBron James]. Shaq [O’Neal]? I guess? Did Shaq wear a USA jersey? Yeah, Shaq definitely.
Shaquille O’Neal did suit up for Team USA in 1996 when they won the gold medal in the 96′ Olympics in Atlanta. But, Reaves did pick a very strong starting five that featured the greatest talents the game and country have ever seen.
Bryant and Jordan are two of the greatest scores in the history of the game and know what it takes to win. James is a player who can do everything on the court and then there’s arguably the most dominant center in the game of basketball in O’Neal as well as Reaves, who is a high IQ and skilled player that can fit around those four players. It’s worth noting that four of the players Reaves included are current and past Lakers.
It is hard to have a bad answer when so many dominant and talented players have suited up for USA but it just shows how great some of these teams were for the Olympics. Reaves now has a chance to add to the legacy by winning the FIBA World Cup that kicks off Aug. 26.
Reaves excited to compete against Dennis Schroder in 2023 FIBA World Cup
While there is a lot of pressure for this young USA roster to come together and win the World Cup, it seems that Reaves has a matchup circled and that is against former teammate Dennis Schroder, who is representing Germany.
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