Paris Olympics 2024: Host France poised to avenge 2020 defeat at the hands of USA in basketball

Host France will aim to stand on top of the podium after their defeat to USA in the last version of the Olympics.
NBA Rookie of the Year, Victor Wembanyama will debut for France in the Paris Olympics
NBA Rookie of the Year, Victor Wembanyama will debut for France in the Paris Olympics(Photo | X)

Runners-up of the 2020 Olympics men’s basketball France is looking to pack as much firepower as possible to win the gold they narrowly missed last time against USA.

The roster of the host team looks impressive enough this time.

Fresh off winning the Rookie of the Year award in the NBA, Victor Wembanyama would debut for France.

At 7-feet-3, his attack and defensive plays have awed viewers, while former players and critiques project him to be one of the greatest basketball players ever.

Parallelly, NBA’s 2024 Defensive Player of the Year awardee, for the fourth time, Rudy Gobert has sealed a spot in the roster. The duo of Wembanyama and Gobert would make France’s defense look like a wall.

The training camp has 19 players who have shown potential to be placed in the team. However, head coach Vincent Collet is yet to take a call on the 12-man roster. Uncertainty mostly surrounds on the selection of guards as seven players have been shortlisted for that position. Nando de Colo, the 37-year-old starting point guard who led France to the finals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, remains a probable pick for the team to rely on.

However, the defending champions USA have gone beast mode with their roster after they lost to Germany in the semi-finals of the FIBA World Cup 2023.

Veteran players like three-time gold medalist Kevin Durant and two-time gold medalist and Team USA’s all-time leading scorer LeBron James are on the roster. Alongside them, NBA’s three-point king Stephen Curry and veteran all-rounder Kawhi Leonard are set to make their Olympic debuts. Joel Embid, the seven-time NBA All-Star committed to play for USA. Los Angeles Lakers’ star centre, Anthony Davis aims to add a gold medal to this already existing collection of every major basketball title.

The team features other veteran stars like Devin Booker, Anthony Davis, Joel Embid, Tyrese Haliburton, Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, Anthony Edwards and Jrue Holiday.

Apart from these two giants, Canada as well looks to give USA and France a run for their money. The recently announced star-studded roster will definitely be a team to look out for in their first Olympics appearance since 2000. The roster features top NBA players like Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Andrew Wiggins, and Jamal Murray. All the players have shown impressive performance in the recently-concluded NBA season as Canada has established itself as a noticeable competition.

Canada basketball roster
Canada basketball roster(Photo | X / Sportsnet)

With some teams yet to announce their final rosters, the brewing talents on each team are sure to make it one of the most competitive set of international basketball games. It will definitely take more than talent and efforts to reach the top podium in Paris, ensuring an intense viewing experience.

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The New Indian Express