The gold medal won by Team USA after a 8-0 sweep of the competition (including two tough outings against Spain & Lithuania) added Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Deron Williams to the list of NBA players who have won two Olympic gold medals.
LeBron James was added to an even more exclusive list, becoming just the third NBA player to win the NBA title and the Olympic gold within a couple of months of each other, joining Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan, doing it twice in 1992 and 1996. James and Jordan are the only players to win the NBA title, MVP awards (regular & finals) and the Olympic gold in the same summer.
Before we kick off with the list, a special note goes to Bill Hougland who won two gold medals with Team USA in 1952 (Helsinki) and 1956 (Melbourne). He played his college ball for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Carmelo Anthony (2008, 2012)
Some would argue that Carmelo Anthony shouldn’t have been on the Redeem Team (’08) and the nameless Dream Team from 2012, but he was the team’s second highest scorer in London, averaging 16.3 points while coming off the bench and being quite useful in the small-ball, outside shooting kind of game implemented by Coach K. He averaged 11.5 points per game in the 2008 Olympics, mostly remembered for a heated affair against Argentina in the semi final.
Charles Barkley (1992, 1996)
Charles Barkely got to be the scoring leader for the first Dream Teams in Barcelona and Atlanta, leading the original guys to the gold medal by averaging 18 points per game in Barcelona, including what was then a new Olympics record of 30 points in a game against Brazil. In 1996, he led the team in scoring (12.4) and rebounds (6.6) en route to another gold.
Kobe Bryant (2008, 2012)
Kobe Bryant declared that there won’t be anymore Olympic basketball for him after London, although you never with know with Bryant, who refuses to enter a steep decline despite being in the NBA 16 years. He averaged 15 points per game in 2008, including 20 in the final against Spain with 13 coming in the fourth quarter. He took a step back in terms of leadership and responsibilty four years later, averaging 12.1 points while playing 17 minutes a night.
Patrick Ewing (1984, 1992)
Ewing was part of possibly the best collegiate team to win the gold medal, playing alongside Chris Mullin and Michael Jordan as they cruised for gold in 1984, without the disruption of the Eastern block. He was one of the two centers in the original dream team, averaging 9.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in Barcelona.
LeBron James (2008, 2012)
James has three Olympic medals, but he was also part of the bronze team in 2004, the only time an NBA-group didn’t come up with the gold in the Olympic games. He was instrumental in the 2008 gold medal game, scoring 14 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing 3 assists. In 2012, he became Team USA’s all time leading scorers with 273 points, averaging 13.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists during the tournament.
Jason Kidd (2000, 2008)
Kidd was one of the three captains on the 2000 team to Sydney, averaging 6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists during the tournament. He missed out in 2004 due to an injury but was included in the 2008 squad despite no longer being one of the best in the league because of his experience in international basketball, as opposed to Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Kidd finished his career with Team USA never losing a single game, going 56-0, winning three FIBA Americas titles and two Olympic golds.
Michael Jordan (1984, 1992)
Alongside Ewing and Mullin, Jordan is the only American basketball player to win the gold medal as an amateur and as a pro. He led the team in scoring during the 1984 Olympics, averaging 17.1 points per game, while finishing second in scoring with the original dream team, scoring 14.9 points per game. He seemed to enjoy taking three pointers without much success in Barcelona, going 4-19 (21.1%) in the tournament.
Karl Malone (1992, 1996)
Karl Malone played alongside his other half, John Stockton, in two Olympic tournaments. He averaged 13 points per game in the Barcelona experience and took it a little easier in 1996, averaging 8.4 points per game.
Chris Mullin (1984, 1992)
Mullin was another piece in that 1984 team that also had Vern Fleming and Wayman Tisdale, not to forget Jordan and Ewing on their way to and easy gold. After the best season of his career, which included being a member of the All-NBA first team for the first and only time, Mullin found a place on the dream team, averaging 12.9 points while making 53.8% of his three point shots during the tournament.
Chris Paul (2008, 2012)
Paul was Jason Kidd’s backup in the 2008 Olympics, at least in the beginning of games, averaging 8 points, 4.1 assists and 2.3 steals for the Redeem team. He was the second player on minutes per game in the 2012 Olympics behind Kevin Durant, averaging 8.3 points and 5.1 assists per game.
Gary Payton (1996, 2000)
Got to be a member of the two least-talked about Gold Medal winning Dream teams. They never had any trouble winning the golds in Atlanta and Sydney, but they didn’t have magic (or Magic himself) of the original guys or the revenge theme of the 2008 team. Payton averaged 5.1 points and 4.5 assists per game in Atlanta; 5.5 points per game in Sydney.
Scottie Pippen (1992, 1996)
Pippen is one of the three NBA players to win an NBA title and an Olympic Gold Medal during the same spring-summer, actually completing the achievement twice. Pippen averaged 9 points and 5.9 assists in Barcelona. He improved to 10.1 points in Atlanta.
David Robinson (1992, 1996)
Robinson has three Olympic medals at his house, although I’m not sure he presents the bronze one from 1988, which was the main reason the United States began sending NBA players to get the job done. He was there again in 1992, averaging 9 points per game with the Dream Team. He was also on Dream Team II, averaging 11.5 points, including 28 in the final against Serbia.
John Stockton (1992, 1996)
Another member of Dream Teams I & II, Stockton played in only 4 games for the original team, averaging only 2.8 points per game because of an injury limiting his minutes. He got a bit more playing time in Atlanta but didn’t score much more than he did in Barcelona, with 7 assists in the final against Serbia being his most impressive stat.
Deron Williams (2008, 2012)
Williams was the third point guard, or sometimes back court partner to Chris Paul in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, averaging 8 points in his first Olympic games. In London, again coming off the bench, Williams was as productive if not more, averaging 9 points and 4.6 assists per game.