In the year 2000 (LaBamba from Conan voice), Vince Carter jumped over France. Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. While the 2000 edition of Team USA Basketball often gets lost in the conversation between the highs of the 1992 squad and the lows of 2004, they do have the signature moment ever since pros have been allowed to play when Vince leaped over poor Frederic Weis in Sydney. It’s a moment that’s been replayed over and over and over and probably introduced more than a few people to the Geto Boys (word to Kazaa and Limewire). Lord only knows what the reaction on social media would have been had that dunk taken place now.
But not only does the 2000 squad get the shaft when it comes to appreciation for its roster, but they also are the neglected brother when it comes to their sneaker game. Yes, Ray Allen and Vin Baker wore the Air Jordan 6 Olympics, but compared to the love for what was worn in by the squads in 1992, 1996 and even 2008, it’s not even close. While nobody is saying anything that the 2000 squad wore was better than the Nike Air Max More Uptempo or the Nike Zoom Flight 96, it’s a shame they don’t get even some shine. There are plenty of gems from that team, including the Nike Shox BB4 that were the precursor to Vince’s short-lived signature shoe line and Kevin Garnett’s Nike Flightposite II. Nike even had the guts to make special gold versions of the BB4 and the Flightposite II for the medal rounds and what’s even cooler is that the team actually had the guts to wear them.
We know about the Gold Medal versions of the Nike Zoom Kobe 7, Nike KD 4 and the Nike LeBron 10 that didn’t make it out of the box during the 2012 Olympics. Whether it’s a respect for the other team or the fear of jinxing a run, Team USA hasn’t really done much flaunting since the early days, which you can probably credit to the program run by Jerry Colangelo and Coach Mike Krzyzewski. But in 2000, Vince, Alllan Houston, Jason Kidd, Antonio McDyess, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Tim Hardaway all wore the Navy and Gold colorway of the Nike Shox BB4 while KG wore the gold Flightposite II during the finale in a move of sheer confidence against of all teams, France.
With so much nostalgia being heaped upon the 1996 Team USA squad at the moment since it’s celebrating their 20-year anniversary, here’s hoping in 2020 we get a re-up on the 2000 squad, especially since my favorite player of all the times (Alonzo Mourning) is on there and had one last run as an elite player before a kidney ailment robbed him off his prime years playing at a high level. And hopefully we get a retro of the navy and gold BB4 as people start to year for that and the nostalgia for Vince’s best year stars to grow.