SPRINGS, Colo. (April 30, 2012) --
FIBA (International Basketball Federation) conducted the 2012 Olympic Games
men’s basketball draw on Monday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, determining most of
the USA’s opponents for the July 29-Aug. 6 preliminary round. The XXIX Olympic
Games men’s basketball competition will feature national teams from 12
countries competing July 29-Aug. 12 in London.
The United States (FIBA World
Championship gold medalist) was placed in Group A, along with South American
rival Argentina (FIBA Americas gold medalist), France (FIBA Europe silver medalist),
Tunisia (FIBA Africa gold medalist) and two teams that will earn their Olympic
berths at the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will be played June
2-8 in Caracas, Venezuela. The top three finishing teams from the Olympic
qualifier will earn a berth to London, with the top two finishing teams
included in Group A.
“It appears that our Group, Group A,
is going to be extremely competitive,” said USA and head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who led the U.S. to a
perfect 8-0 record and the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “It’s a tough draw with a former Olympic
champion in Argentina; France is another powerful team, a veteran team that is
extremely talented; Tunisia continues to improve, and then our Group will add the
top two teams from the FIBA World Qualifying Tournament. In the Olympics you
only have 12 countries qualify so you’re going to have tough draws, and that’s
why winning a gold medal is such a great accomplishment.”
Group B includes Australia (FIBA
Oceania gold medalist), Brazil (FIBA Americas silver medalist), China (FIBA
Asia gold medalist), host Great Britain, Spain (FIBA Europe gold medalist) and
the No. 3 team from the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Teams that have earned a spot for the last-ditch Olympic
qualifier include: Angola, Dominican Republic, Federal Republic of Macedonia,
Greece, Jordan, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Russia, South
Korea and Venezuela.
The top four teams from each Olympic
preliminary round group will advance to the Aug. 8 quarterfinals, with the
winners playing in the semifinals on Aug. 10 and the medal games on Aug. 12.
Krzyzewski will be assisted by Syracuse
University’s Hall of Fame coach Jim
Boeheim, Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan.
The 20 finalists for the U.S. men’s team
was announced on Jan. 16 and include: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland
Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Chauncey
Billups (Los Angeles Clippers); Chris Bosh (Miami
Heat); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Tyson
Chandler (New York Knicks); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma
City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric
Gordon (New Orleans Hornets); Blake Griffin (Los
Angeles Clippers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); Andre
Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); LeBron James (Miami
Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom
(Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Derrick
Rose (Chicago Bulls); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); Russell
Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams
(New Jersey Nets).
The U.S. men have collected a medal in all 16 Olympics in
which they have competed, including 13 golds, one silver and two bronze medals.
The Americans own an impressive 122-5 overall win-loss record (.961 winning
percentage) in Olympic action, and since NBA players began representing the United
States in 1992, the USA is 37-3 in the five Olympics in which they have
participated, capturing four gold medals and one bronze medal.
The complete schedule, including
pairings and game times will be announced by FIBA at a later date.