Olympic Games Paris 2024: United States announces its 'Dream Team'

The national team coached by Steve Kerr will seek its 17th gold medal in the French capital and will be led on the court by LeBron James.

In many Olympic events, the United States opens as a favorite. But there is one of them in which, barring any surprises, the gold medal is practically guaranteed: basketball. The national team, led by head coach Steve Kerr, announced the 12 players who will participate in the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid, Devin Booker, Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards, Jrue Holiday, Kawhi Leonard, Bam Adebayo and Anthony Davis were all named by USA Basketball as the country seeks its fifth consecutive gold medal, and its 17th in the history of the largest sporting competition on the planet.

LeBron James' last Olympic Games and Embiid's first

James will be the one to captain the national team in Paris, which will be his final Olympic Games. At 39 years old, he will fight to add his third gold to his legendary resume in his fourth Olympic appearance. He previously won in Beijing 2008 and London 2012, while he earned bronze in Athens 2004.

One of the newcomers to the roster will be Embiid. The Philadelphia 76ers center, a native of Cameroon, opted to represent the United States in the Olympics. In addition to being able to have played with the Cameroonian national team during his career, starting in 2022, he could also have played with France, a country where he obtained nationality in 2022. That same year, he was also granted a U.S. passport and, last summer he announced that he would play for the Stars and Stripes. This is one more on the list of reasons why the team led by Kerr will be massive favorites in Paris 2024, as Embiid is one of the best players in the world at his position.

The rivals that threaten American gold

As previously mentioned, the national team seeks to add its 17th Olympic gold to its trophy case in Paris, and its fifth in a row. Since it began its journey in the world's greatest sporting competition, the United States won gold at Berlin 1936, London 1948, Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, Mexico 1968, Montreal 1976, Los Angeles 1984, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2020. On other occasions, it has won silver or bronze, except for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the only time it failed to get on the podium.

Despite being a clear favorite, Team USA's Olympic dominance is threatened, on this occasion, by several national teams that have among them several players who fight daily against the American representatives in the NBA.

The United States will have to watch out for Germany, Serbia and France: three mainstay candidates for gold at the Olympics. The Serbian team has probably the best basketball player in the world at the moment: Nikola Jokic. The Denver Nuggets center led the franchise to an NBA championship last season and, this year, he is a favorite to be named MVP of the regular season. The Germans, like the French, will also call up several players from the NBA. Outside of Europe, two teams to watch are Canada and Australia.

The complete list of teams that will participate in Paris 2024 is still unknown. One of those potential qualifiers is Spain; a team that the United States defeated in an Olympic final on three occasions: in Los Angeles 1984, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.