Do NBA Players Play In The Olympics?

NBA players do play in the Olympics. However, it wasn't always like that. Preceding the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, only players who were known to be of "amateur status" were allowed to play for an Olympic Basketball team. Due to this rule, all of the American Olympic basketball teams were made up of prolific college basketball players who would compete against the best the world had to offer. Yet, the game's culture in the Olympics changed once the rule was adjusted to allow professional athletes to participate in the Olympics.


1992 Dream Team

The 1992 Dream Team set the tone for allowing NBA players to represent their country in the Olympics. This team is seen to be one of the most talented sports teams ever assembled. The team included game-changing athletes such as Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and a list of other notable stars. They would go on to showcase the pure dominance that the Americans had developed in Olympic Basketball.

2008 Redeem Team

The 2008 Redeem Team is another great example of NBA athletes playing in the Olympics. This team was built to restore the United States' brand of basketball in the Olympics after a disappointing run in the 2004 Olympics. This team would include a new wave of stars but the same caliber of recognition and talent. Athletes such as Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade were just some of the names that were among the superstar roster. However, many NBA stars choose to sit out and not participate in the Olympics over fear of injury and other unappealing factors in recent years.

FAQ

What NBA player has the most Olympic medals?

Carmelo Anthony has the most Olympic medals out of any NBA basketball player. Anthony has earned three gold medals with Team USA in 2008, 2012, and 2016. He was also awarded a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics, following his rookie year with the Denver Nuggets. With so many phenomenal basketball players having competed in the Olympics, this is a massive accolade for Carmelo Anthony.

Do NBA players play for countries besides the USA in the Olympics?

Since its founding in 1946, the NBA has become a far more international league with talent from around the world making the journey to the US with their sights set on basketball superstardom. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that there are a fair few NBA players who represent countries other than the United States in the Olympics. Some recent examples of star players to take the Olympic court representing a country other than the US are Luka Doncic of Slovenia, Rudy Gobert of France, and the Gasol brothers, Marc and Pau, who represented Spain.

What NBA player has the most total points in Olympic basketball?

Kevin Durant is the current all-time leader in points for Olympic basketball with 435 points. In the 2020 Olympics, he surpassed the previous leader, Carmelo Anthony, who had 336 career Olympic points. Durant has accomplished this feat in only 22 games, averaging just under 20 points per game in Olympic play. This is extremely impressive, as Anthony had played a total of 31 Olympic basketball games to hold the record previously.