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Besieged by injuries to players who might have earned a place on the team, the Americans nevertheless proved they could win with a versatile lineup that made up for its lack of size with sheer athleticism and tremendous outside shooting.
"It means everything," James said. "A lot of people doubted us, you know, said we were too small. Said we wouldn’t be able to compete with the size of a lot of teams. … It’s not about size, it’s the heart. It’s the heart that comes through, and I’m happy we have a bunch of big hearts on our team."
Storylines U.S. back for secondsTeam USA wins its second straight Olympic gold medal, beating Spain 107-100.
» Kevin Durant scores 30 points, becoming highest-scoring American in a single Olympics.
» Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Kobe Bryant both confirm they are retiring from international basketball.
Afterward, both Bryant and Krzyzewski confirmed that they will not be back.
But they leave London having helped restore basketball glory to the nation that invented the game, and allowed themselves at least to be considered among the best teams ever assembled — a water-cooler argument Bryant started himself by claiming that this team could beat the original Dream Team.
One last time, Bryant was asked: Is this team invincible?
"This Olympics, we were," he said.
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