The 2016 Rio Olympics were (kinda) fun? How is that possible?
It seems like every game Team USA played, there were outcries of too much iso-heavy ball, a lack of competition & overall cohesion. But looking back, some 20 or so hours after their gold medal victory, each player had his own signature moment of the Olympics.
Kyrie Irving‘s summer. Kyrie’s on top yet again, joining Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen & LeBron James as the only players to win an NBA title & Olympic Gold medal in the same year.
Kevin Durant‘s Gold Medal performance. KD finally got a chance to lead Team USA (in the Olympics) as the undisputed best player on the team. With no LeBron or Steph, KD took charge and delivered all tournament long, culminating in a 30-point burial v. Serbia.
Draymond Green‘s Snapchat. Let’s just leave it at that.
Jimmy Butler‘s 2013 Jimmy Butler impression. Jimmy B. shot poorly this summer but was an annoying defender who came in and made a positive impact as a role player. He didn’t have many highlights on the floor but we’ll always have this:
DeMar DeRozan‘s random scoring outbursts, then subsequent benchings. DeMar “Jannero Pargo” DeRozan had a few nice scoring halves but never found consistent minutes.
Kyle Lowry‘s never-say-die-scrapiness leading to a minutes push. Lowry doesn’t know how to take plays off – his aggressive defense led to key minutes down the stretch v. Spain.
Carmelo Anthony: American Hero. Carmelo is officially done with USA basketball – and he goes out on top, as a 3-time Gold Medalist & Team USA’s all-time scoring leader. His postgame interview was an emotional capper of 12 years competing for his country:
Klay Thompson going supernova on France. Klay flipped the switch in an instant – he was struggling mightily up until that point.
This reaction from DeAndre Jordan!* Jerry Colangelo had a bittt of trouble with Kevin Durant’s paperweight during the medal ceremony. DJ definitely took notice.
*Jordan was also great as Team USA’s defensive anchor, supplanting Boogie for the starting nod v. Spain (9 points, 16 boards) & Serbia but nothing tops this*
Paul George‘s nonchalant bricks masked by lockdown defense. PG was Coach K’s Sixth Man in most games, coming off the bench and putting the clamps on perimeter guys like Milos Teodosic & Bogdan Bogdanovic.
George was hoisting up some awful-looking bricks from time to time but his overall impact was tremendous – he did whatever it took to win and humbly accepted a limited role.
Harrison Barnes mocked by B. Jennings & basketball fans worldwide. But he still has a world title and gold medal by the age of 24. (that’s insane)
DeMarcus Cousins bullying entire nations + Draymond.
Re-watch highlights, reflect on this past season or gear up for the next one – there’s no more NBA basketball til October!