Things haven’t looked great for USA Basketball lately. Not only was there a mass exodus of stars this summer prior to the FIBA World Cup of Basketball next month in China, the current version of the squad has made headlines this week as they dropped a scrimmage to a group of G League and overseas players by 19 points.
That loss — the video of which emerged in recent days — only heightened the doubt surrounding their ability to bring home the gold from next month’s tournament and avoid another humiliation like the last one in 2006. Those involved with the team, of course, are downplaying that story and maintaining their focus on that ultimate goal.
One of those young USA Basketball stars is Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, who is using his time with Team USA to soak up as much experience as he can and use it to take the next step in his career. Rather than opting out of the opportunity, Fox is thrilled to be part of the tradition and has been taking his cues from his personal favorite version of the squad, the 2008 Redeem Team.
Asked to name his favorite USA Basketball squad, De’Aaron Fox didn’t hesitate: the “Redeem Team.”
The 2008 Beijing Olympic champions are a worthy pick for anyone, but especially for a tantalizing young point guard whose career is ready for liftoff. Fox, 21, was born after the Dream Team era, so the 2008 team presented his first look at how a galaxy of stars might properly function together.
“The players they had, everybody was in their prime,” said Fox, the fifth overall pick by the Sacramento Kings in 2017. “You saw how they played together. Everybody was unselfish and defended the ball well. They had a great showing.”
Fox can be forgiven his age, as we’re all partial to the team that made the most impact on our youth. In any case, the Redeem Team is a fine choice, as they were the ones who ultimately brought USA Basketball back to prominence as the world’s most formidable basketball powerhouse.
Fox has a unique opportunity to make an impact for USA Basketball, not to mention for his own career as he tries to take the next step in his development. New Kings coach Luke Walton was reportedly a big proponent of Fox participating in Team USA this summer, and it will no doubt have positive effects, as it has on so many before him.
(Via The Washington Post)