Where does the 2016 Team USA roster stand in Olympic history?

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Team USA completed their mission of adding another gold medal to the incredible collect of men's basketball honours for the most dominant nation the world has ever seen. It wasn't always easy but they got over the line in emphatic style after piecing together their game in the knockout stages.

However, there is a general consensus that the 2016 edition of Team USA was nowhere near as good as the 1992 'Dream Team'.

On face value, we'd have to agree, the '92 team was the complete package and still stands as the best international team ever assembled for a single tournament, but where does the gold medal team from Rio place in US Olympic history?

First off, we have to say the number of players missing really limits 2016's chances to be considered one of the greatest ever to represent the nation. Any team that was missing the talents of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard was always going to be limited.

The 2008 'Redeem Team' would go down as the only edition since NBA players were allowed into the Olympics that could challenge '92 - the likes of LeBron, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony made for a scary team.

2016 was still full of strong, big-name players - Melo and Kevin Durant were the leaders while Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson (when he finally found his shooting rythm) also showed up. The likes of DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and DeMarcus Cousins played well when called upon.

The team that romped to victory in 2012 was also pretty stacked; Kobe, LeBron, Russ, Harden and KD alongside the likes of Chris Paul and Anthony Davis really led to a star-studded lineup. On paper, the London edition was so much stronger than the team that ventured south to conquer South America.

The standout worst team, of course, would be the unit that oversaw the darkest day in international history; Athens 2004. The team boasted a young LeBron and Melo with Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan also competing, but it was probably the weakest side the US had ever sent to the Olympics.

Stephon Marbury, Carlos Boozer, Emeka Okafor, Lamar Odom and Richard Jefferson are just some of the names that contributed that awful campaign.

2000 was hardly packed with stars; it was led by Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter and Ray Allen, but had some glaring weakness, while 1996 was a tournament dominated by Shaquille O'Neal, John Stockton, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and a plethora of others.

In short, this was a far from spectacular US team, they did enough to write their names into history, but will not be remembered in future decades. Winning gold was the bear minimum, and they achieved that with relative ease. Exciting crowds like the 1992 and 2008 editions was beyond its remit.

Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
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