Guide to basketball at the Olympics

Updated: Wednesday, 27 Jun 2012 17:05

COMPETITION DATES
28 July to 12 August.

STAR NAME
Kobe Bryant: The United States team is littered with the NBA's biggest names as they look to defend their Olympic title, but none have more pedigree than Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers guard, a 14-time NBA All-Star, is considered by many to be the most complete basketball player since the legendary Michael Jordan.

GREATEST OLYMPIAN
Teresa Edwards: No individual has more Olympic basketball medals than Edwards, who will be in London as the chef de mission of the United States team this summer. Edwards played in five Olympics, winning gold in 1984, 1988, 1996 and 2000, while settling for bronze in Barcelona in 1992.

BIGGEST FLOP
The history of basketball at this level can often appear like it is the United States against everybody else, and while it has never been quite that simple, the failure of the Americans to take gold with another star-studded squad in 2004 was a huge disappointment as they lost to Argentina in the semi-finals, instead taking bronze. That failure led to a redoubling of effort four years later as they swept to glory in Beijing.

DID YOU KNOW?
The legendary US 'Dream Team' that won gold in 1992 was the first team to feature NBA players following a change of rules. Previous American squads had been made up of college players, and Michael Jordan collected the first of his two Olympic golds in 1988 while still at the University of North Carolina. The NBA recently suggested it might seek a change in the Olympic format to make the games a youth competition similar to football - so this summer could be the last year the sport's biggest names compete for gold.

FIRST APPEARANCE AT THE GAMES
1936 (men), 1976 (women)

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