The 2012 US Olympic team had a remarkable run in London, winning by an average of over 32 points over 8 games. There were many great players including Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola of Argentina, Patty Mills of Australia, and Pau Gasol of Spain, who all averaged over 18 points per game in the July and August games. Others such as Yi Jianlian of China, Ike Diogu of Nigeria, Makrem Ben Romdhane and Salah Mejri of Tunisia, and Nene Hilario of Brazil averaged at least 8 rebounds per game. A couple of good non-American performances by Alexey Shved of Russia and Marcelinho Huertas of Brazil saw them average over 5 assists per game. However, the most dominant team of men’s basketball in the Olympics simply deserves the MVP of both the tournament as well as the gold medal game.
Last I checked, Lebron James was still far-and-away the best player on the planet, and he showed it during the 8 game run. He was in the top 3 of the USA team in minutes, points, rebounds, steals and assists, including leading the team in assists with 5.6 per game. He proved uncontainable by opposing defenses, shredding them for a .603 shooting clip and had only 1 turnover a game despite playing point forward for long stretches. Add this to his top notch defense and the (made-up) title of Olympics MVP certainly belongs to Miami Heat superstar.
In the gold medal game, Spain proved to be a comparable team, holding close for much of the game. However, Kevin Durant helped the American team pull away with a seven point victory, knocking down key threes down the stretch. He finished 5-13 from behind the arc and 9-10 from the charity stripe for 30 points and added 9 rebounds. For that, he gets the (also made-up) Gold Medal Match MVP. The top two players in the world take home prestigious Soaring Down South awards and further cement their place at the top, what’s new?