Which Olympic basketball team has the most gold medals? Team USA looks to continue its dominance

Which Olympic basketball team has the most gold medals? Team USA looks to continue its dominance

Members of the United States basketball teams rarely leave the Olympics without gold medals.

The men’s team has won gold in the last four Games and many other times prior to that. The women’s team is seeking an eighth straight gold medal.  

Both teams head to the 2024 Olympics in Paris looking to continue a long and storied history of global domination in the sport. 

Let’s take a look at just how dominant the teams have been by looking at some Olympic basketball records:

Which country has the most gold medals in basketball?

The country where the game of basketball originated. The United States has dominated basketball at the Games since it became an official Olympic sport in 1936. 

The U.S. men’s basketball team has won 16 of a possible 20 gold medals, including the last four. It has also medaled in every Olympic Games other than 1980, which was boycotted by the United States, bringing the U.S. men’s medal count to 19, the most in Olympic history. 

The Soviet Union is the only other country to win multiple gold medals with two (1972 and 1988). Yugoslavia (1980) and Argentina (2004) have also captured the gold in men’s basketball.

The U.S. women’s basketball team has been equally as dominant, winning nine of a possible 12 gold medals since being added to the Olympics in 1976. It has also medaled in each Olympic Games it has competed in, winning silver in 1976 and bronze in 1992. The women will look to win an eighth straight gold at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games

The Soviet Union women’s basketball team won the first two gold medals in 1976 and 1980, and the Unified Team captured gold in 1992.

Which basketball player has the most gold medals?

Carmelo Anthony not only has more gold medals than any other men’s basketball player — he has more than every nation besides the United States.

Anthony, the only four-time Olympian in men’s basketball, won gold in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Melo was also on the bronze-medal winning team in 2004 after his rookie season in the NBA, combining to make him the all-time leader in men’s basketball Olympic medals with four.

That could change in 2024. Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns will compete for his fourth straight gold medal with Team USA at the Paris Olympics. If Durant and the U.S. win gold, Durant will pass Anthony as the Olympics’ gold-medal leader in men’s basketball. As long as Team USA reaches the podium, Durant will tie Anthony’s overall medal lead in the sport.

But Anthony has one fewer Olympic medal than some women’s basketball players. Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi each won their fifth gold medal with Team USA during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That made them the overall gold-medal leaders in basketball history at the Olympics.

It also brought them into a tie for the overall medal lead in basketball history with Teresa Edwards of the U.S women’s basketball team, who won four gold and one bronze. Edwards won gold in 1984, 1988, 1996 and 2000, as well as bronze in 1992. Edwards incredibly had held the distinction of being both the youngest and oldest Olympic gold medalist in women’s basketball history, winning her first at the age of 20 and her last at 36, until Bird won her fifth in the 2020 Olympics at the age of 40.

The 41-year-old Taurasi will have a chance to top that record and become the sole leader for gold medals and overall medals in Olympic basketball history when she plays at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The U.S. Women’s Olympics Basketball Team will be pursuing their eighth consecutive gold medal in Paris. With the roster full of depth and star talent and Caitlin Clark left off, Kaz Famuyide of Fanatics Sportsbook, discusses why the focus and attention should be on Diana Taurasi, who is going for a record-setting sixth gold.

Who is the leading scorer in Olympic basketball history?

Oscar Schmidt of Brazil has scored more points in basketball than any other Olympian, and it’s not close. That’s part of the reason why he was idolized by Kobe Bryant.  

“Kobe said he used to call me ‘La Bomba’ (the bomb in Italian),” Schmidt told the Associated Press in 2020. “In Brazil, everyone calls me ‘Holy Hand’ because of my throws, but I liked his nickname for me, too.”

Schmidt scored 1,093 points while competing in five Olympic Games, putting him comfortably ahead of Australia’s Andrew Gaze (789 points) and Spain’s Pau Gasol (623). Schmidt averaged 28.8 points per game, also an Olympic record.

Australia’s Lauren Jackson is the Olympics’ leading scorer in women’s basketball with a total of 575 points. The four-time Olympian, three-time WNBA MVP and 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee led Australia to three silver medals (2000, 2004, 2008) and one bronze (2012). 

Who is USA Basketball’s all-time leading scorer?

No Olympian in the history of United States basketball has scored more total points than Lisa Leslie.

Leslie competed in four Olympic games, winning gold in each and scoring a total of 488 points. After averaging 15.3 points per game across 32 Olympic contests, Leslie sits comfortably ahead of Taurasi, whose 414 points are second most in the history of the U.S. women’s basketball team.

Leslie is also the team’s all-time leader in rebounds with 241 and blocks with 37. Teresa Edwards leads in assists (143) and steals (59).

Kevin Durant became the all-time leading scorer for the U.S. men’s basketball team during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He finished the tournament with 435 career points, passing Anthony, who scored 336 points and averaged 10.8 points over 31 Olympic games. Durant, whose 19.8 points per game average is also the highest in team history, needs 54 points in Paris to pass Leslie as USA Basketball’s overall scoring leader.

Durant also leads the men’s team in field goals made (146), field goals attempted (276), 3-pointers (74) and free throws (69).

Anthony leads the U.S. men’s team in games played (31) and rebounds (125).

LeBron James, the U.S. men’s basketball team’s third all-time leading scorer with 273 points, is the team’s all-time assists leader with 88.

David Robinson leads the team in blocks with 34 and Michael Jordan leads in steals with 49.

Olympic basketball records

Most team points single-game: United States men’s team, 156 (2012)

Men’s individual single-game scoring: Brazil’s Oscar Schmidt, 55 (1988)

Women’s individual single-game scoring: Bulgaria’s Evladiya Slavcheva-Stefanova, 39 (1988)

Men’s largest margin of defeat: 100 points — Korea 120, Iraq 20 (1948); China 125, Iraq 25 (1948)

Women’s largest margin of defeat: 66 points — Brazil 128, Japan 62 (2004); Soviet Union 119, Italy 53 (1980)

U.S. men’s single-game scoring: Carmelo Anthony, 37 (2012)

U.S. women’s single-game scoring: Lisa Leslie, 35 (1996)

U.S. men’s single-game rebounds: DeAndre Jordan, 16 (2016); Tim Duncan, 16 (2004); James Brewer, 16 (1972) 

U.S. women’s single-game rebounds: Katrina McClain, 16 (1992, 1996)

U.S. men’s single-game assists: Kyrie Irving, 12 (2016); LeBron James, 12 (2012), Michael Jordan, 12 (1992), Leon Wood, 12 (1984); Phil Ford (1976)

U.S. women’s single-game assists: Teresa Edwards, 15 (1996)

U.S. men’s single-game blocks: Alonzo Mourning, 6 (2000); Patrick Ewing, 6 (1984)

U.S. women’s single-game blocks: Candace Parker, 4 (2012)

U.S. men’s single-game steals: Michael Jordan, 8 (1992 2x)

U.S. women’s single-game steals: Suzie McConnell, 9 (1992)

U.S men’s individual competition scoring average: Kevin Durant, 20.7 (2020)

U.S women’s individual competition scoring average: Lisa Leslie, 19.5 (1996)

U.S men’s cumulative scoring average: Kevin Durant, 19.8 

U.S women’s cumulative scoring average: Cheryl Miller, 16.5

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article was published in July 2021.

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