If there’s one event in the Olympics which has been utterly dominated by a single nation, then Basketball is it and the USA are its kings.
Since B-Ball became an Olympic event in 1936, Team USA have entered 17 times – boycotting in 1980.
In those 17 entries, the Americans have sailed off with the Gold an amazing 14 times.
On the three rare occasions when their Olympic ambitions were thwarted, USA still claimed one silver and two bronze.
It wasn’t until 1972 – at the eighth time of asking – that America were beaten to the Gold, losing by a point to the Soviet Union in Munich.
In 1988 in Seoul, America were undone by the Soviets once again, while in Athens in 2004 a lack of squad cohesion saw USA lose two of their five group games before losing to Argentina in the semi-finals.
Despite those setbacks, the Americans have enjoyed a staggering level of dominance, and down the years the gulf in quality between USA and their opponents has been astounding.
The peak of the Stars and Stripes’ Olympic Basketball dominance is unquestionably Barcelona 1992. Year of course, of the Dream Team.
The ban on NBA players participating at the Olympics had finally been lifted, and America fielded a team to flex its muscles as big as possible on the global stage.
Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Patrick Ewing were just some of the legends in that ’92 squad, where 11 of the 12 men were Hall of Famers.
Ten of them would find their way onto the NBA’s Greatest 50 of all time list, and the team scored 100 or more in every single game.
So, for the 2016 squad heading to Brazil, there’s no pressure, right?
But with Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and a host of other NBA All-Stars in this year’s squad, Team USA looks set to extend it’s 80-year dynasty on Olympic Basketball.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.