The Olympics are just around the corner at the end of this month and teams are finalized, with the USA team sporting several NBA All-Stars.
As the USA prepares for an Olympic run, they will be amongst the favourites, if not clear cut frontrunners, which would make it a brilliant move to hit up pennbets.com and keep an eye on who has the best numbers and chances going into the tournament. Many subtle but crucial moves will be made by the participants in favour of their respective NBA teams. The USA team is stacked with world-class talent, a large majority of them being players that did not make the playoffs or got bounced in earlier rounds. Of course, being the competitors they are, winning is why they showed up for the Olympics, but it will also be why they would be willing to discuss potential pairings and the league season with fellow peers on team USA.
Becoming a recruiter during the Olympics is not unheard of, and while those are discussions behind closed doors, some of the greatest teams ever assembled in the league have come off the back of these tete-a-tetes away from the media eye. Word on the streets is that the big three era of the Miami Heat, which saw LeBron James take his talents and friends Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to Miami, was built on the back of a discussion around the offseason and Olympics. One team that has always been a stand out in the league thanks to some super scouting and their ability to seamlessly transition from building team to contender, the San Antonio Spurs, will be looking to take advantage of this informal strategy this year. The Spurs are amongst the most successful and consistent teams in the league, but for the first time in over two decades, the team led by one of the greatest head coaches in the game missed the playoffs. Gregg Popovich could not work his magic, but he did get them close, and that with a threadbare team that lost star power in LaMarcus Aldridge during the season. DeMar DeRozan was far from his superstar form of years past, and the young players like Lonnie Walker and Dejounte Murray showed why they would be a force to reckon with in the near future.
Making the play-in tourney was a big win for the Spurs, who showed they can still give the loaded Western Conference a run for its money and are probably just a few pieces away from being back in contender status. Having one of the greatest coaches in the game and who just so happens to be the head coach of the USA National team means the Spurs have a joker without having to do too much. Many NBA players are swayed to teams because the environment is conducive for them to thrive, which largely depends on the culture set in the franchise and the head coach. Every player in the league respect Popovich and those who have passed through him, including coaches, have nothing but praise for the man. Under his coaching in the Olympics, some of these players will get a chance to experience his coaching and culture first hand, which may just bode well for the Spurs as this offseason is expected to be a very active one in terms of player movement.