The summer of 2010 does not mark the first time the United States of America sent its "second tier" stars to represent the nation at the FIBA World Championship. Fresh off Olympic gold in 1992 with the revolutionary and dominant Dream Team, the '94 group lacked mega-star headliners, instead comprised by a few reliable veterans and a number of young up-and-comers. Sound familiar?
More than just a 'B' team, (they were at least a B+ since they boasted a handful of future hall-of-famers), Dream Team II rolled to an 8-0 record by an average score of 120-82 and remains the last USA squad to win it all at the World Championship of Basketball.
(Players listed alphabetically, with their age at the time of the tournament in parenthesis)
Guards: Joe Dumars (31), Kevin Johnson (28), Dan Majerle (29), Reggie Miller (28), Mark Price (30), Steve Smith (25)
Although already 28, Miller was the roster's break-out player as the team's second-best scorer and the tournament's leader in three-pointers. Miller's stellar play transferred over to the remainder of the '90s with the Pacers, as well as into Olympic gold in '96. Price's premier years at point ended in '94 and at the tournament, where he ranked first on the team in steals and second in assists and threes.
Over a decade before Dumars entered the Basketball Hall of Fame and KJ became the mayor of Sacramento, they were helping the USA to gold in Toronto. Johnson paced the team in assists and Dumars finished tied for third in scoring average. Long-distance marksman Majerle was rounding down his best years in Phoenix before a career rejuvenation in Miami, while a young Smith was a few months away from being traded from the Heat to the Hawks.
Forwards: Derrick Coleman (27), Larry Johnson (25), Shawn Kemp (24), Dominique Wilkins (34)
Proclaimed as power forwards of the future expected to one day take the torch from Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, the trio of Coleman, Johnson and Kemp never did. They were not total busts, however, combining for nine All-Star games - six by Kemp - who emerged as one of the league's elite players a couple of years later.
While Kemp, Johnson and Coleman used their raw, youthful athleticism to net gold medals, Wilkins' legendary abilities were on the decline. Although his glory days in Atlanta were behind him, 'Nique still managed to finish third on the team in total points.
Centers: Alonzo Mourning (24), Shaquille O'Neal (22)