A very low point sparked USA Basketball’s transformation under current head coachMike Krzyzewski.

Team USA has lost just once under Coach K. World domination has been restored. All thanks to 2004.

The 2004 USA team took home the Bronze Medal. It was the first time a team of professionals didn’t bring home basketball gold. The team was simply a mess; poorly assembled, poorly coached, and completely without an identity.

Many players and people involved with the team spoke out recently in a feature on NBCOlympics.com.

Emeka Okafor:

The team kind of came together at the last minute. Everyone was trying to cater to Coach (Larry) Brown’s style which is a little bit different to what they would’ve wanted. Coach Brown didn’t really like to play young guys. At all. Even I think LeBron, D-Wade and Melo didn’t play as much. We all played the least, us young guys.

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It seems impossible to not like having the opportunity to coach LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony. Brown reportedly didn’t like the team because he didn’t like coaching young players. The oldest player on the team was 28.

There were more young players than expected because of all of the players who dropped out.

Chris Sheridan (ESPN reporter):

Different guys came up with different reasons that they couldn’t make it. At the end of the day, Vince Carter was gone. Ray Allen was gone. Jason Kidd was gone. Jermaine O’Neal was gone. Elton Brand was gone. Nine guys that had been on the 2003 qualifying team in San Juan were gone.

The 2004 team was surely a dark spot in USA basketball history. That team and the spirit it embodied is certainly in the past now as the team this year already looks well on its way to bringing home another gold medal.