In the four years since*Team USA won Olympic gold in Beijing, the experience has taken on near-mythic weight as it applies to the players’ involved. It was supposedly the birthplace of the idea that became the star-laden Miami Heat, as well as an important moment in the careers of superstars including Kobe Bryant (who regained much of the goodwill lost during his sexual assault trial and his years as a solo scorer with the Lakers), Carmelo Anthony (who simultaneously gained a reputation as a great international scorer and less-than-elite superstar), and Jason Kidd (who turned from slow, old liability into steady veteran hand capable of winning a championship, which he did a few years later). That group wasn’t only the Redeem Team fighting for American honor — they also made the Olympics a major part of an NBA player’s career path in a way they hadn’t been for more than a decade.
Team USA’s triumph over Spain happened only one day ago, but we can already start to wonder how the experience will change our opinions of the players involved. With that in mind, we present Ball Don’t Lie’s Team USA Reputations Index, an inexact consideration of what has changed now that each of these players owns a gold medal from the 2012 Olympics.