The U.S. men's basketball team has won the gold medal at the Olympics to regain international prominence in the American-born sport. VOA's Jim Stevenson has more from Wukesong Arena in Beijing, where the United States held off a spirited team from Spain to win, 118-107.
The team filled with U.S. National Basketball Association stars had the lead for virtually the entire game. But reigning world champion Spain always stayed within reach.
American LeBron James says it was a great game for the fans, and exhausting for the players.
"It will probably go down in history as one of the greatest Olympic games ever. We made big plays. We went up nine. Then they come back and hit a three [point shot]. And we hit another three. Then they come back and hit two threes. Now it is a four-point game. Then Kobe [Bryant] hit a four-point play. The intensity was unbelievable," said James.
The U.S. men's basketball team had not won a major international title since 2000. This squad did not want to be called a 'Dream Team' like their predecessors, led by the legendary Michael Jordon. Instead, they called themselves the 'Redeem Team' as they sought to regain the Olympic title.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski says player egos were put aside for the Olympics.
"We have not had one second of problem as a coaching staff with our team. It has been the greatest experience of my life and the lives of the other coaches," said Krzyzewski.
Dwayne Wade led the United States with 27 points, while Rudy Fernandez was Spain's top scorer with 22.