Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 8/12/12


Less than two months after winning an NBA championship, LeBron James will return home from London with an Olympic gold medal.

James helped Team USA power past Spain in the championship game, coming away victorious with a 107-100 win. James added 19 points and 7 rebounds for his team, who were led by Kevin Durant's 30 points.

Durant became just the fifth American to ever score 30 points or more in an Olympic game, but it was clear he also got help from a number of his star-studded teammates. In addition to James' contributions, Kobe Bryant poured in 17 points of his own during what is widely believed to have been his final Olympic contest.

Though the United States only led by one point heading into the fourth quarter, Chris Paul and company applied sufficient enough defensive pressure to help sink Spain towards the end. The point guard scored 11 points, coming up with a huge steal and beating the shot clock with a remarkable layup to help Team USA start securing their victory.

This summer's Olympic games gave an array of high profile NBA players the opportunity to shine at some point during competition. Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony only added 8 points in the gold medal game, but certainly proved to be a consistent double-scoring threat off the bench for Team USA over the last couple of weeks.

Anthony's consistency, along with his offensive explosion of an all-time USA high of 37 points vs. Nigeria, should fill Knicks fans with optimism for next season. The Brooklyn native is clearly the type of star who can take over a game and change it for the better. As evidenced this summer, there are very few other players a team would want to have the ball in his hands with the game on the line.

With an ability to knock down shots from all around the court (no matter how much pressure has mounted) perhaps only Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant currently surpass 'Melo as a superior player in crunch time. The Knicks should be pleased with a top-three closer.

With many high hopes heading into next season for success in the Big Apple, the Olympics seemed to serve as the perfect opportunity for Anthony to reassure everyone of just that.

Already an NBA champion himself, Knicks center Tyson Chandler will also return to the states with an Olympic gold medal to call his own.
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