The 2008 “Redeem Team” was a refocus to the fundamentals and talents of the normal US Basketball player. Coach K was brought in and taught defense and teamwork. Team CEO Jerry Colangelo brought a sense of importance and value to being part of the team. The players are now regarded as the cream of the crop and the next generation of superstars in the world of basketball. Now as we are down to the Final 4 of the NBA playoffs, all 4 teams are led by an Olympian. Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers, Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. All 4 players were vital parts of the Gold Medal Team.
Now the US Olympic Team has begun the process of its next batch of National Team players. I believe that out of the 2008 Gold Medal Team, Kobe and Jason Kidd are probably 2 guarenteed players that won’t return. The nucleus of LeBron, Melo, and DWade should stick around to win another gold medal.
One player that I believe should be invited to the camp is Rajon Rondo. The exciting Celtics’ Point Guard is the perfect choice as a replacement for Jason Kidd and is comparable to what Chris Paul or Deron Williams bring to the table. Rondo knows how to lead a team of superstars, spread the ball, and fill in where he can. Arguably the best defensive point guard, Rondo will lock down Patty Mills of Austrailia and Ricky Rubio of Spain. This year, Rondo added his ability to finish around the rim to make him a complete team player. Not a complete offensive basketball player yet, but with all that scoring on the Olympic Team, he won’t need to.
LeBron James signs his Olympic Jersey #6 more then his NBA jersey and has been quoted as saying that the Olympic Medal is his most important accomplishment. Once again the refocus of the USA on the Olympic Basketball Tournament will make the World’s other powers better, so the USA team can not rest. Rondo will help keep the momentum.