Team USA is the odds-on favorite to take the gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympic games in London for men's basketball, but they're not without some stiff competition for medal contention. Despite the presence of superstars like Kevin Durant and LeBron James among others, there are other teams with numerous pro players, especially ones familiar with international rules, that could help put them over the top.
The best and definitely biggest of all of America's international competitors is the national team from Spain. The team features several NBA pros, including Serge Ibaka from the Oklahoma City Thunder, and ESPN's Fran Fraschilla says they present the biggest obstacle for Team USA.
"Seven players on Spain's roster have played in the NBA, and their success in the league makes it the top threat to unseat Team USA as the reigning Olympic champion," writes Fraschilla. "The brothers Gasol, Pau and Marc, are NBA All-Stars. Serge Ibaka, who's 23 years old, played in the NBA finals and finished second in the voting for NBA defensive player of the year. Point guardJose Calderon finished fourth in the NBA in assists this past season. Euroleague star Juan Carlos Navarro was a second-team all-rookie in his only NBA season."
Team USA already took out Spain once in exhibition play, however the team was not up to full strength with both Marc Gasol and Navarro both out due to injury.