Team USA 2012 Minus Kobe Bryant?

By: Taren Vaughan

Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant was amazing as a member of this year’s Team USA. Durant scored 38 points in Saturday’s game against Lithuania, leading the squad to the FIBA World Championship game. The confidence that his teammates had in Durant was verbalized into a few simple words: “Keep shooting, keep shooting”. Let’s just say he listened to their humble request. Durant didn’t put up 38 points in the final game. But he came out with the same intensity that he did with his previous performance, adding 28 points in the 81-64 win over Turkey.

Durant on winning the gold medal:

“Our only option was to come out here and get a gold and it feels really good to bring this back home to the States,”

It’s great to see Team USA back on top again. Before the “Redeem Team” of 2008 came about, the track record of Team USA had been a pure eye sore. Not winning a gold medal since 1994 and barely placing with a bronze medal in 2006 seemed unreal for a team that had made such a name for itself in the FIBA games. They are back to their winning roots again. But they may not have the same roster that they have had in the past couple of years in 2012.

For a minute now, the members of Team USA have remained pretty consistent with superstars like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But there is talk that one of the two may not be apart of the team in 2012. James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are guaranteed to play. But Kobe may not be returning to the line-up in 2012. If this rings true, he won’t be alone. Carlos Boozer is still a maybe at this point also. Tayshaun Prince, Michael Redd and Jason Kidd have officially thrown in the towel for 2012 so their spots are now up for grabs. Now the question is: Who will replace them and will the newcomers have the same kind of impact that they had? It will be very interesting to see the outcome.

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