It’s a pretty safe bet Team USA and Spain will be fighting for the gold medal at the upcoming 2012 Olympic games but the rest of the field of teams will be playing for bronze.
Teams such as Brazil, Argentina and France are the teams that could walk away with the bronze medal but if Team France plans on standing on the stage at the end of the basketball tournament, they will have to dig deep and rely on other players to do so.
France is loaded with NBA talent such as Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum, Joakim Noah, Rodrigue Beaubois and Ian Mahinmi. Also, Nando De Colo, and Ali Traore round out a solid team heading for London but count out Beaubois and Mahinmi. Both players will not be joining France at the Olympics.
Beaubois was asked by the Mavericks to not participate with the French team seeing how he needs time to heal from an injury he suffered two season ago. Mahinmi also will not play for his home country since he is trying to negotiate a new contract with Dallas. Furthermore, Noah is still recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in the regular season and will still need three more weeks to recover. Also, Traore injured his knee and is out indefinitely.
It is quite peculiar that two Maverick players are not participating in the London games considering Mavs owner Mark Cuban has been quite vocal against NBA players participating in Olympic/international competition. But I digress.
Without Beaubois and Mahinmi and possibly Noah, expect Parker to be called upon the carry the team as he did for France this summer at the Olympic qualifiers. Of course, he should be fine and ready to go for France after getting caught in the middle of a brawl which caused him to suffer an eye injury.
With France coming into London short-handed, this certainly paves the way for Argentina to be close to a shoe-in for bronze. Team Argentina fields a roster of Manu Ginobili, Fabricio Oberto, Andres Nocioni, Carlos Delfino, Luis Scola.
To make matters worse for France is that they open up the London games against Team USA which will definitely test the mettle of a depleted French team.