United States National Basketball Team

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United States of America
United States of America
USA basketball logo.svg
Association USA basketball
FIBA member since 1934
FIBA world rankings 1st place (892.0 points)
Technical sponsor Nike
Trainer Gregg Popovich
World championships
Participation in the finals 17 × (first: 1950 )
Best results Winner ( 1954 , 1986 , 1994 , 2010 , 2014 )
Olympic games
Participation in the finals 18 × (first: 1936 )
Best results Winner ( 1936 , 1948 , 1952 , 1956 ,
1960 , 1964 , 1968 , 1976 , 1984 , 1992 ,
1996 , 2000 , 2008 , 2012 , 2016 )
Continental championships
championship American Championship
Participation in the finals 9 × (first: 1989)
Best results Winner (1992, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2007)
Homepage www.usabasketball.com
(As of August 26, 2016)

The United States men's national basketball team is the national selection of American basketball players. She is selected by the US Basketball Association USA Basketball and represents the US in international tournaments. The team was unbeaten from the semi-final defeat by the Greek selection at the 2006 World Cup to the 2019 World Basketball Championship.

The selection from the motherland of basketball is the most successful national basketball team in the world and has won gold medals 15 times in 18 Olympic participations so far . At the basketball world championship level , the United States is also the record winner with five successes. However, this status is shared with the defunct Yugoslav national basketball team , with two titles falling at a time when this national team consisted only of players from Serbia and Montenegro .

The US team has not participated in the American Championship since 2007 . Before that, the national team won the championship six times in 9 appearances.

Amateur team

After the introduction of basketball into the Olympic program, the US team dominated the Olympic basketball competitions from 1936 to 1968 without a single loss. It was not until 1972 in Munich that she just lost in the final against the Soviet team . The legitimacy of the result is controversial to this day, as the last three seconds of the game were repeated twice for the USA at 50:49. At the award ceremony, the players refused to accept the silver medals.

After further gold medals in 1976 and 1984 and the boycott of the Moscow Games in 1980 , the US basketball team lost for the first time in the semifinals of the tournament in Seoul in 1988 , again against the USSR, and in the end had to be satisfied with the bronze medal. Thereupon a debate arose over the elimination of the amateur regulation at the Olympics, which denied the best players in the USA participation. Until 1988 the USA competed with a selection of young college players, while the Eastern European teams were able to field their best players as " state amateurs ". In 1989 the world basketball association FIBA and the IOC finally agreed on the elimination of the amateur rule.

"Dream Team" 1992

At the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 , the US team was allowed to compete for the first time with a selection of the best players in the NBA professional league. The superstars around Michael Jordan , Magic Johnson and Larry Bird , accompanied by a huge media hype, were considered to be the sensation of the games. Evidence of this is the term “ Dream Team ”, which has become the name of the team in public.

The “Dream Team” confirmed the advance praise and, as expected, dominated the competition at will. The USA won all games by a large margin. It was the closest in the final against the Croatian team , when the US team won with "only" 32 points. The Dream Team started with a massive 116:48 win against Angola , which was particularly remarkable because the Angolan basketball players had photos taken with their famous opponents instead of concentrating on the game.

It should be noted critically that the “Dream Team”, especially in the person of Charles Barkley and Karl Malone, often practiced a very tough style of play, which was punished by the referees in the rarest of cases. Charles Barkley was also sharply criticized for making insulting statements to other teams. The opposing teams often got out of rhythm and fell behind early on, which increased the dominance of the Dream Team accordingly. Only in the final was Croatia able to withstand the initial pressure for a while, also because it was the second game against the Americans.

Succession to the "Dream Team"

In the following years the international US basketball teams "Dream Team II" ( World Cup 1994 ), "Dream Team III" ( Atlanta 1996 ) were named and an expectation of the audience was created which the respective teams do not meet in every respect could. The US selection remained unbeaten in over 50 competitive games until 2002, but the results were getting closer and closer. The US team was on the verge of defeat in the semi-finals at the Olympic Games in Sydney against the Lithuanian team and happily won 85:83.

End of dominance

The 2002 basketball world championship , which took place in Indianapolis' own country, marked the final end of the faded myth of the “dream team”. The US selection lost three games against Argentina , Yugoslavia and Spain and ended up in sixth place, which was disappointing for the US public.

So it was not a sensation when the 2004 Olympics also broke the impressive winning streak at the Olympic Games. In the opening game against the team from Puerto Rico (73:92) there was a defeat for the first time in 16 years. This was the first defeat since professional basketball players were admitted, as there was still an amateur team at the start in the 1988 semi-finals against the USSR. Two more defeats against Lithuania and in the semifinals against Argentina should follow, so that the US team had to be satisfied with the bronze medal in the end.

At the basketball world championship in 2006 , the now rejuvenated team also took third place after losing to Greece in the semi-final .

The explanation for the decreasing success rate of the US team was mainly the steadily increasing level of the European and South American competition since the triumphant advance of the “Dream Team” in 1992. Internal reasons cited were motivation problems of the players who concentrate on the NBA and the poorly thought-out selection of players. As a rule, US players have only played one or two international competitions during their career so that the US national team has to put together a completely new team for each tournament (in contrast to other nations where the core of the national team stays together for years ). The USA nevertheless saw itself as the strongest nation in global basketball and was also consistently seen by the trade press as a top favorite for the respective title.

"Redeem Team" 2008

Dwight Howard with a dunk in the game against China on August 10, 2008

After the team had only achieved bronze in Athens in 2004 , the “reparation team” saw the 2008 Summer Olympics as the biggest sporting event in their history. The team was founded in 2005 and changed only slightly after a semi-final defeat at the 2006 World Cup. It should be particularly emphasized that with Dwight Howard only one real center player belonged to the team, a circumstance which had led to criticism and discussions in advance.

The "US Boys" won the gold medal with ease and only came under pressure in the final against Spain - in the end they won with an eleven point advantage 118: 107. The media response was correspondingly. For example, the New York Times headlined : "US basketball back on top". The USA took first place at the 2010 World Cup in Turkey.

Olympic Team 2012

The team set a new record at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In the preliminary round she won 156: 73 (78:45) against Nigeria and thus recorded the highest number of points in basketball history at the Summer Olympics. In addition, the team achieved 29 threes in this game, which is also a new record at the Summer Olympics. In addition, small forward Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks set a new point record at the Summer Olympics. He scored 37 points against Nigeria in the 14 minutes he was on the field.

World Champion 2014

In the 2014 World Cup in Spain was able to defend the title the Americans. They won an average of 33 points and ended the tournament without a defeat. In the final, the team beat Serbia by 37 points.

Olympia 2016

At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio , the USA won all five preliminary round games, with the games against Serbia and France being only 3 points ahead of each other. After victories in the quarter and semi-finals against Argentina and Spain, the Americans clearly defeated the Serbs in the final with 90-66. Forward Kevin Durant led the Americans to victory with 30 points. Durant also led the Americans across the tournament with 19.4 points per game. After winning the gold medal, Krzyzewski resigned as national coach. The new coach was Gregg Popovich , who is also the coach of the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA .

World Championship 2019

At the 2019 Basketball World Cup in China, the US competed with a much younger squad. Many seasoned NBA stars rejected the US team in advance of the preparations for the World Cup. With Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton there were only two active NBA All-Stars in the team. Other key players on the team were Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz , Jayson Tatum , Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics and Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings . In the preliminary round of the World Cup, the Americans achieved three wins, although the game against Turkey could only be narrowly decided in extra time. In the quarter-finals they met France, around Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier , who lost 79-89. In the game for 5th place, the USA lost to the Serbs. The final game for 7th place was won against Poland. In the end, seventh place is the worst place a US team has in a world championship.


United States squad at the 2019 World Basketball Championship
No. Surname birth size info Calls society
Guards ( PG , SG )
4th Derrick White 07/02/1994 196 San Antonio Spurs
5 Donovan Mitchell 09/07/1996 191 Utah Jazz
6th Joe Harris 09/06/1991 198 Brooklyn Nets
7th Marcus Smart 03/06/1994 193 Boston Celtics
15th Kemba Walker 05/08/1990 185 Boston Celtics
Forwards ( SF , PF )
8th Harrison Barnes 05/30/1992 203 Sacramento Kings
9 Jaylen Brown 10/24/1996 201 Boston Celtics
10 Jayson Tatum 03/03/1998 203 Boston Celtics
14th Khris Middleton 08/12/1991 203 Milwaukee Bucks
Center ( C )
11 Mason Plumlee 05.03.1990 211 Denver nuggets
12 Myles Turner 03/24/1996 211 Indiana Pacers
13 Brook Lopez 08/04/1988 213 Milwaukee Bucks
Nat. Surname position
United StatesUnited States Gregg Popovich Head coach
United StatesUnited States Steve Kerr Assistant coach
United StatesUnited States Lloyd Pierce Assistant coach
United StatesUnited States Jay Wright Assistant coach
United StatesUnited States Jerry Colangelo Sports director
Abbr. meaning
(C)Captain of the crew Team captain
Team homepage
League homepage
As of August 5, 2016


The Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport voted the US national team in 1992 " World Team of the Year ".

Individual evidence

  1. USA are world champions on süddeutsche.de
  2. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=9LorAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-KIFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1651,4643303
  3. USA Basketball Returns to the Top
  4. US basketball players celebrate Olympic record victory
  5. Gregg Popovich Named 2017-20 USA National Team Head Coach
  6. Team USA falls apart
  7. Team USA World Cup roster finalized
  8. Basketball World Cup, placement games: Team USA beats Poland and comes in seventh - next Bogdanovic gala