Since the game of basketball was introduced as a sport at the 1936 Games in Berlin, Germany, Team USA has, historically, been the best team in the world. And since the U.S. has dominated Olympic basketball since the very beginning, it's no surprise that most of the best Olympic basketball moments involve the American men in some form or another.
Here's a list of the top five most memorable moments in basketball at the Games:
5. 1988 Semifinals - U.S.A. vs. U.S.S.R.
Meeting for the first time since the controversial 1972 Olympic finals (number one on the list), Team USA and the Soviet Union squared off again at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, this time in the semifinals. Once more, the Soviet team came out on top (eventually winning the gold medal) - although this time, the Americans were simply outplayed by their competition. After the defeat, the U.S. managed to rebound by beating Australia in the bronze-medal game.
4. "The Redeem Team"
Fresh off a less-than-acceptable bronze-medal performance at the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece, the "Redeem Team," led by Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, brought the U.S. back to its winning ways in 2008 at Beijing. In the final game against Spain, both Bryant and Wade made some clutch buckets to overcome a surge by the talented Spaniards. As the Americans stood there with victory in hand, the mostly-Chinese crowd showed their appreciation as they chanted "U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A."
3. Vince Carter Dunk
Before "Linsanity", there was "Vinsanity." Vince Carter, now 35 years old, will always be remembered as one of the most electrifying players to ever play the game of basketball. And nothing illustrates his one-of-a-kind athletic ability than his memorable dunk over 7'2" French center Frédéric Weis at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney - a dunk so ferocious that the French media later dubbed it "le dunk de la mort" (The Dunk of Death). Not only did Carter make Weis look silly, but Team USA went on to win gold yet again.
2. The Original "Dream Team"
Sure Team USA has always been great on the international basketball scene. But at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, USA basketball entered a whole new era of dominance, as NBA players were finally given permission to participate in the Games. With a mountain of hype surrounding them, a team that included the likes of Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley and Larry Bird, the "Dream Team" crushed their competition by an average of 44 points, on their way to the top of the podium. And oh yeah, they did all that without calling a single timeout.
1. 1972 - Team USA vs. Soviet Union
Considered to be one of the most shocking upsets in all of sports, the gold medal game between Team USA and the former Soviet Union ranks as the most memorable moment in Olympic basketball history. Aided by some phantom calls in the closing seconds of the game, the Soviet team somehow managed to defeat the U.S. for the first time ever (until that point Team USA were on a 63-game Olympic winning streak and a string of seven consecutive Olympic gold medals. Furious with the circumstances, the Americans protested by declining to accept the silver medal.
Gurvinder Singh is a New York City-based freelance sportswriter with west-coast roots. He is a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, with a special interest in the NBA and Summer Olympics. Follow him on Twitter @SINGHinBROOKLYN.