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Basketball at the 2008 Olympic Games will be held at Wukesong Indoor Stadium in Beijing from August 9-24, 2008.

Basketball is definitely a global sport that has shown continued growth over recent years. The USA with the NBA and its college basketball system undoubtedly has the toughest competitions in the world that attracts the world's best players. However, the USA has not always dominated the Olympics and on several occasions they have been embarrassed by some unexpected defeats to lesser known teams.

The USA always enters the Olympics as favourites but their inability to gel and play as a team has brought about some bad losses. The question will be is will they have a team of players who play like individuals or will they put aside their egos and play as a team. If they play as a team then they should win the gold medal.

In 1972 the Soviet Union beat the USA to win the gold in a controversial game. After 1988 the Olympics opened the sport up for professional players to play which saw the greatest basketball team of all time to compete in 1992. The "Dream Team" lead by Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were just unbeatable and put on a show for all the world to see. Most of the players on the other teams were star struck by playing against these legends of the game.

In 1992 Michael Jordan was the team's second highest scorer with 14.9 points per game and he had a tournament high 37 steals. The U.S. defeated Croatia 117-85 in the final and as a result Michael Jordan earned his second Olympic gold medal.

David Stern of the NBA has stated a number of times that they wish to expand and promote the game of basketball in China. As a result they have played and will continue to play more exhibition games in China. The presence of China's greatest player, Yao Ming in the NBA has helped to increase the popularity of basketball in China.

The following teams have already qualified for the Beijing 2008 Olympics: Angola (African Champion), Argentina (Americas runner-up), Australia (Oceania Champion), China (host), Iran (Asian Champion), Lithuania (European Bronze medallist), Russia (European Champion), Spain (World Champion) and USA (Champion of the Americas).

The remaining three positions for the Beijing Olympics will be decided in the twelve team FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men that will take place in Athens, Greece on July 14th. The tournament will involve the following teams: Cameroon and Cape Verde (Africa), Brazil and Canada (Americas), Lebanon, Puerto Rico and the Republic of Korea (Asia), Greece, Germany, Croatia, and Slovenia (Europe) and New Zealand (Oceania). The draw for this tournament will be held on July 20, 2008 in Athens.

The semi finals are scheduled to be played on August 22nd and the finals two days later on August 24th. Although the Americans often underplay the importance of the Olympic Games it is guaranteed that this time they will want to restore their global dominance in basketball by coming out and performing at their best. Anything less than a gold medal will be taken as a failure by many players and supporters in the USA.

For more information on Basketball at the Olympics you should visit Basketball in Beijing 2008

Article Source: Basketball at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 will be Sure to Dominate as a Crowd Favorite

 
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