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American domination of Olympic basketball

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Alexa Hyde
Connector Staff

Basketball has been an Olympic sport since 1936, and has regularly been featured in the Olympics since. America has regularly dominated the Olympics since 1936 as well.

America has the most gold medals in basketball, boasting 21 gold medals for men and women combined. The United States has only not medaled once in Olympic basketball, at the 1980 Olympics where the entire nation refused to compete to protest the Soviet Union.

Year after year, the United States has dominated its competition. The Soviet Union is the only other country to have a considerable amount of medals for the event, with 12 in all, and with only 4 gold.

America even regularly sets records at the Olympics, including most points in a game, where the team scored 159 points in a humiliating defeat of Nigeria. America also holds the record for most points earned in a game by one player and the largest margin of victory, among others. 

The Olympic teams that America produces are star studded ones, featuring players from the NBA and WNBA. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and even Sue Bird are household names in America, and they provide the team with great skill and drive, far out succeeding those of other nations.

Olympic basketball, unlike other Olympic team sports, is notoriously easy for the United States. Unlike hockey and soccer, where are local professional players return overseas to play for their home countries, the NBA draws mainly from American talent, giving the Olympic team a highly skilled and competitive pool to draw from. Basketball is an American sport, and America shows that. But is it necessary?

Olympic hockey is always one of the most exciting events at the winter Olympics as Americans root for their teams, both men and women, to overtake hockey powerhouses like Canada and Russia. Olympic soccer sees Americans supporting the successful women’s team, which always battles hardily for its place in the finals, are calling for the men’s team to overtake big soccer nations like England, Germany, and Brazil. But in basketball, America is nearly always guaranteed a spot in the finals.

No one challenges America in Olympic basketball. America, essentially, is able to walk into the finals. America needs to be challenged. Basketball is growing worldwide, and countries like China, Spain, and Russia are starting to be able to give America serious competition. This is what America needs. Otherwise, there’s no point in winning if the other team isn’t really a competition.

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