I came across this during my late night high lurk session online. I figured since everybody is all fake Olympic’d out i’d post this. Nothing but struggle on this list.
Team USA basketball has mostly had a rosy existence in international competition since bringing 1992′s Dream Team to Barcelona.
The same cannot be said for every player who heads overseas.
Whether it’s a situation where the player isn’t comfortable with his role on the team or simply didn’t belong in the first place, some guys are completely unable to acclimate to the international game.
Who are the worst players on Team USA in past 20 years? Follow along as we count down the top (or bottom) five.
5. Stephon Marbury (2004, Athens)
Olympic Stats: 10.5 PPG, 3.4 APG, 1.2 TOPG, 42.3 FG%
Despite rather pedestrian overall numbers, Marbury was the face of Team USA’s violently inconsistent 2004 performance in Athens.
Other than Marbury’s brilliant 31-point performance against Spain in the Quarterfinals, he averaged just 7.5 points per game and scored fewer than three points in nearly half of the team’s contests.
As the team’s only natural point guard, that would be fine if Starbury would have taken more of a distributor’s role. However, Dwyane Wade had nearly as many assists as a 22-year-old coming off the bench.
Just an overall disappointing performance from a leader most disappointing team in Team USA’s past 20 years.
4. Tim Hardaway (2000, Sydney)
Olympic Stats: 5.5 PPG, 1.3 APG, 1.0 TOPG, 38.5 FG%
By the time he arrived in Sydney for the 2000Olympics, Hardaway was a 33-year-old shell of his former All-Star self.
He had set career lows in points per game (13.4) and field goal percentage (38.6) that season for the Miami Heat and simply continued his downward spiral with Team USA.
Hardaway’s highlight was a 12-point garbage time performance against China in group play and he scored a grand total of two points in three elimination round games.
3. Michael Redd (2008, Beijing)
Olympic Stats: 3.1 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.5 APG, 32.3 FG%, 27.8 3P%
Coming into the 2008 Olympics in China, Redd was coming off his fifth consecutive season scoring over 20 points per game. The former All-Star was looked at as the perfect gunner to pair alongside slashers LeBron James and Dwyane Wade for international competition.
Then the Redeem Team arrived in Beijing and Redd seemingly lost all ability to shoot. After a promising nine point performance in Team USA’s opening round game, Redd never scored more than five points in a game again, even going scoreless in the team’s final two games.
On the bright side, Redd became a gold medalist on his 29th birthday.
2. Emeka Okafor (2004, Athens)
Olympic Stats: 0.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 2 Games Played
Perhaps it’s unfair to judge Okafor since he was hoisted onto the Olympic stage without so much as one NBA minute under his belt.
Regardless, on a team that needed defensive toughness, the former UConn Husky couldn’t even crack the rotation. Going back to 1992′s Dream Team, only Okafor and John Stockton played in fewer than six games for their Team USA squad. Okafor is also the only player in USA basketball history to go scoreless for an entire Olympics.
1. Richard Jefferson (2004, Athens)
Olympic Stats: 6.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 32.1 FG%
If it’s possible to be worse than someone who barely played a minute, Jefferson pulled it off in 2004.
Coming off a breakout season, Jefferson was thought to be among the NBA’s greatest young talents. The 2004 team plugged him in as the starting small forward, but Jefferson could never get comfortable with international play.
A 20-point barrage in Team USA’s loss Lithuania in Group play helped salvage his numbers a bit, but Jefferson’s play was absolutely abhorrent in Athens.
Why U.S. coach Larry Brown refused to sit Jefferson for red-hot Shawn Marion I’ll never know