As soon as the team USA roster was released for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, a lot of talk was made about how how this team stacked up to Olympic sides of the past.
The conclusion from most was that while a talented roster, and without a doubt the best team in the competition, this year’s edition of team USA falls well short of the (nearly) impossible standards set by teams of the past.
Here’s the 5 greatest US Olympic teams to ever see the floor;
#5.) 1960 in Rome
It wasn’t until 1986 that the International Federation allowed professional athletes to compete in the Olympic Games. Therefore, the 1960 team was comprised of amateurs, but wasn’t lagging in the star-power department.
The team, led by the likes of Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Jerry Lucas, cruised to the gold medal in Rome with an extraordinary 42.4 average margin of victory, and were widely considered the greatest Olympic team ever up until 1992.
#4.) 1996 in Atlanta
Dream Team II had five players return from the original team, which included Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Charles Barkley and David Robinson.
Additionally, this team put on display what is undoubtedly the greatest center trio to ever grace court, as Robinson, combined with Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon, lead the second installment of the Dream Team to a 3- point margin of victory, 4 Olympic records, and a gold medal.
#3.) 2012 in London
The 2012 Olympic team was one of the only teams on this list that showed they were able to win nail-biters just as they showed they could win a laugher.
Their 32-point margin of victory is seriously inflated thanks to an 83-point drubbing against Nigeria.
Led by a prime LeBron James and Kevin Durant, the US showed their grit by winning a hard-fought game against Lithuania by 5, and defeating a very talented Spanish side in the gold medal game by 7.
#2.) 2008 in Beijing
The 2008 Olympic team boasted a prime Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. That’s about all you need to know.
Their games challenged the 92′ team in terms of entertainment value, and big three put on a show for the ages.
An 11-point win in the gold medal game was the closest they came to being defeated, and they’re the closest any team has gotten to surpassing the Dream Team.
#1.) 1992 in Barcelona
Everything about the 1992 team was extraordinary.
From the talent on the court, to the unbelievable hype that rang through the streets of the Catalan capital throughout the games, this team is pretty much untouchable when it comes to comparing Olympic teams.
The 92′ side boasted an array of talent unlike we’ve ever seen before, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. They won their games by an average of 43 points, and not even hour-long documentaries have been able to capture what the atmosphere was like throughout the tournament.