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Lebron was Le Bronze – August 27, 2004

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Lebronze
A nickname NBA player Lebron James got after Team USA failed to win a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics.

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ATHENS — The reasons are aplenty, some legitimate, some exaggerated and others simply imagined, but the reality of the situation is chilling — a group of top NBA stars, albeit, not the very top, but still among the best — lost three games at the Olympics and isn’t even in the gold medal game.
The United States is no longer the invincible basketball power it once was. The world’s best players might be in the NBA, but the best team, for right now, at least, is Argentina.
Read more: USA Today

The U.S. men’s basketball team, hurriedly assembled and seriously flawed, was beaten with surprising ease yesterday by the more experienced, more cohesive Argentines, 89-81, in an Olympic semifinal.
The U.S. men’s basketball team, hurriedly assembled and seriously flawed, was beaten with surprising ease yesterday by the more experienced, more cohesive Argentines, 89-81, in an Olympic semifinal.

When, after being engulfed by the victors’ joyful postgame explosion, the Americans walked off the Olympic Indoor Arena court in a long, sad line, they were guaranteed an ignoble spot in U.S. Olympic history.
Read more: Philly.com

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U.S. Olympic Basketball Team Wins Gold in Berlin – August 14, 1936

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Americans Win First Olympic Basketball Competition.

Basketball made its debut as an Olympic sport at the 1936 Games in Berlin. On August 14, 1936, the U.S. won the Gold Medal, defeating Canada 19-8. The championship game was played outdoors in similar fashion to all the other basketball games of the Berlin Olympics. The “Master Olympic Planners” hadn’t gotten the memo that basketball was an indoor sport. They set the games on a clay tennis court, which made for less than ideal conditions. On the day of the gold medal round, it not only rained, it poured.

The U.S. began with a forfeit victory over Spain, whose team had been called home because of the start of the Spanish civil war. The Universal players trounced Estonia 52-28 in the second round, and the McPherson platoon followed with a 56-23 victory over the Philippines. A 25-10 U.S. triumph over Mexico in the semifinals set up a gold medal encounter between Naismith’s native Canada and his adopted U.S. Unfortunately, it turned out to be what Balter later described as “a priceless bit of Chaplinesque comedy.”
Read more: Sports Illustrated

The AP noted that “the game might have been better played had it been played under water polo rules”.

Basketball’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith attended the 1936 Olympics. The Boston Globe reported that “he made the trip on funds provided by American basketball fans.” However, Naismith was not exactly treated like a guest of honor by the American Olympic Committee, headed by Avery Brundage. Apparently, Naismith arrived in Berlin without even a pass to see a game. The International Basketball Federation showed the old professor a little more respect. He was given the honor of tossing up the ball for the tip off of the very first Olympic basketball game, between Estonia and France (won by Estonia 34-29). Also at the end of the competition it was Naismith who handed out the medals to winning teams.


First Basketball Game Ever December 21, 1891

Jim Thorpe Gets His Medals 70 Years After They Were Taken Away January 18, 1983

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U.S. Olympic Basketball Streak Ended – September 10, 1972

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1972 U.S. Olympic basketball streak ended, losing to Soviets.

1972 U.S. Olympic basketball streak ended, losing to Soviets. Click here

This one still stinks – The Olympics at its worst. The U.S. Olympic basketball streak ended, after being unbeaten since the sport was introduced at the 1936 games. Going into this game the U.S. team’s record was 62-0.
In fairness to the Soviet team that allegedly won, it wasn’t their fault that they had played superbly and were within a point of the Americans when the game should have ended. And it wasn’t their fault the Americans played poorly and allowed the Russians to stay in the game. And they didn’t create the chaos that ensued as the game ended, all three times.
Then again, they missed an opportunity to go down in history as among the greatest sportsmen of all time, if they would have exchanged their tainted gold medals for what would have been the most honored and celebrated silver medal accomplishment in the history of the Olympics.
But they didn’t.

More Olympic Controversies

1972 Team USA Basketball Team Signed 16x20 Photo

1972 Team USA Basketball Team Signed 16×20 Photo
Click to see this and more Olympic Basketball collectibles.

When Lebron was Lebronze

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