2004 Athens Squad Finished With a Bronze Medal

Published on July 25th, 2021 10:53 am EST
Written By: Dave Manuel



The performance of the US national basketball team at the Olympic Games. After a loss to France in their Olympic opener earlier today, the US Men's basketball team has to be feeling a bit nervous.

Putting in a sub-par performance in their first game can be excused, as three of their players arrived just a few days ago after playing in the NBA Finals and then flying halfway around the world.

Having said that, Kevin Durant and company have to be feeling more than a bit uneasy about how things have gone so far.

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The US Olympic Men's basketball team has enjoyed an unprecedented level of dominance since starting to enter "Dream Teams", which consist of NBA stars.

Since the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, the US Men's basketball team has won gold every time - except once.

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In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the US team finished with a bronze medal.

The team was stacked, as they had the likes of Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade.

The Group stage games were an absolute mess for the United States, as they finished 3-2 with a point differential of just 29 points. This result was particularly bad when you consider that the group included Lithuania, Greece, Puerto Rico, Australia and Angola - all teams that should be easily beaten by the United States.

The US started by suffering an embarrassing 19 point defeat against Puerto Rico.

After that, they barely beat Greece, and would turn in another embarrassing defeat, this time to Lithuania.

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Thanks to their subpar Group stage play, the United States had a tough draw that included a quarterfinals game against Spain.

The United States won this game 102-94 and seemed to be back on track for gold, as they had dispatched arguably the best team in the tournament other than themselves.

Remember - while Lebron James was on this team, he was only 19 years of age and hardly played.

The US team was led by Iverson, Marbury, Shawn Marion and Lamar Odom that year, and they would suffer the indignity of an embarrassing semi-final loss to Argentina in their next game.

Argentina would end up winning the game by a score of 89-81, giving the United States their first and only elimination round defeat during the "Dream Team" era.

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Can the 2020 team avoid the same fate as the 2004 squad?

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