Monday, May 20, 2024

Building USA’s Sneaker Dream Team for the 2024 Olympics

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The Summer Olympics are always full of inspiring stories, making the quadrennial event must-watch television for 16 days. However, it is also the biggest marketing event in the world for athletes and brands.

Earlier this week, Team USA announced its men’s basketball roster for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. We broke down the roster by sneaker brands. 

But we would be lying if we said we were not a little disappointed by the selections based on the player’s footwear. So, today, we will reimagine the roster and build the Dream Team (3.0 or 4.0?) based entirely on sneakers. Our selections are below.

Point Guard

Stephen Curry will represent Under Armour in the Olympics.

There is no shortage of point guards with excellent signature sneaker lines. Among the many deserving players, we are tapping Stephen Curry to run our offense. The veteran guard is on his 11th signature sneaker with the American-based brand Under Armour (and Curry Brand).

Backing up Curry, we are going with two younger point guards with exciting lines that have loyal legions of fans. LaMelo Ball (PUMA) and Trae Young (adidas) are both on their third signature sneaker, which are just as thrilling as their individual play styles.

Could you imagine the wild colorways PUMA would design for Ball? Meanwhile, fans of the classics would appreciate that adidas has already dropped two colorways of Young’s sneakers inspired by the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Starter: Stephen Curry
Second String: Trae Young
Third String: LaMelo Ball

Shooting Guard

Team USA guard Devin Booker celebrates after winning the gold medal.

Devin Booker will represent Nike in the Olympics.

At the shooting guard position, we agree with Team USA’s selection of Anthony Edwards (adidas) and Devin Booker (Nike). Of course, they used different criteria in making their choice. Edwards and Booker recently launched their signature sneaker lines, and both are impossible to ignore.

Lastly, we are giving the third string spot to James Harden, whose eighth signature sneaker with adidas is the most futuristic model we have seen on the hardwood in years. Even better, Harden has Olympics experience and is deserving of a swan song on the international stage.

Starter: Anthony Edwards
Second String: Devin Booker
Third String: James Harden

Small Forward

Team USA forward Jayson Tatum dunks the ball.

Jayson Tatum will represent Jordan Brand in the Olympics.

With six roster spots already filled, we must become more selective at this point. The easiest choices for the small forward spots are Jayson Tatum (Jordan Brand) and Kawhi Leonard (New Balance). Two signature athletes with very respectable sneaker lines that would make the Stars and Stripes proud.

Starter: Jayson Tatum
Second String: Kawhi Leonard

Power Forward

Team USA players LeBron James and Kevin Durant celebrate the Gold Medal game.

LeBron James and Kevin Durant will represent Nike in the Olympics.

This is where things get tough. At the four-spot, we go with two of the more accomplished players in league history. Even better, LeBron James and Kevin Durant (both Nike athletes) have the longest-running signature sneaker lines among active NBA players. 

James and Durant can also pull out retro models just like they often dive deep into their bags with unbelievable moves on the court. Nike may have botched the uniforms for this year’s Team USA basketball team, but it is impossible to mess up James’ and Durant’s iconic sneakers.

Starter: LeBron James
Second String: Kevin Durant


Team USA center Bam Adebayo reacts after winning the gold medal game.

Bam Adebayo will represent Jordan Brand in the Olympics.

Michael Jordan and the Dream Team helped make basketball a global sport during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. It is only fitting that the Air Jordan 38 (maybe even the Air Jordan 39 by then) gets the spotlight. So, we give Bam Adebayo (Jordan Brand) the starting center spot.

Joel Embiid only recently signed with Skechers, which was perfect timing for the Los Angeles-based brand. Embiid does not have a signature sneaker, but we are excited to see what Skechers can accomplish on the world’s biggest basketball stage.

Starter: Bam Adebayo
Second String: Joel Embiid

Further Reading: The Nike Kobe 8 Protro “Mambacita” releases on May 1 in full-family sizing.

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