The 2008 Dream Team nominated for the Basketball Hall of Fame. GETTY IMAGES

The U.S. team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games with Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Vince Carter, among others, has been nominated for the Basketball Hall of Fame for the first time. Carter and Augustus stand out individually.

The announcement coincides with the centenary of Canadian Dr. James Naismith, who first intrudiced the game of basketball for the first time in Springfield in 1891. It includes a list of candidates eligible for the Class of 2024, which will be announced on 6 April in Phoenix, Arizona, and inducted on 17 August at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Among the first-time nominees is four-time WNBA champion and three-time Olympic gold medallist Seimone Augustus. Also nominated are two-time NBA champion centre Bill Laimbeer, 16-year NBA head coach and television commentator Mike Fratello and Australian Olympians Andrew Gaze, Penny Taylor and Michele Timms.

The "Redeem Team" of the 2008 Beijing Olympics was formed after the failure of the US team at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where they failed to win Olympic gold for the first time since NBA players began participating, a feat accomplished by Argentina's "Golden Generation" led by Hall of Famer Manu Ginobili.

This team left no doubt in anyone's mind, unlike previous selections that didn't deserve to be called a dream team despite having megastars on the court. In Beijing 2008, they not only brought with them the best the NBA had to offer at the time, but also showed a level of commitment that deserved to be highlighted. From then on, the Dream Team was reborn, at least as far as the Olympics were concerned, as it represented the best of the best.

Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony after winning the final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. GETTY IMAGES
Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony after winning the final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. GETTY IMAGES

The memorable team that is now eligible for the Hall of Fame included stars such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Jason Kidd, Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams, Michael Redd, and Tayshaun Prince.

Among the individual eligible players, Vince Carter stands out. A member of the US team that won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he has played 22 consecutive seasons in the NBA, averaging 16.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 1,541 games with eight different teams

Seimone Delicia Augustus has had an equally impressive career in women's basketball. Born in April 1984, she won four WNBA titles with the Minnesota Lynx and three Olympic gold medals (Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016), establishing herself as a legend in the United States.

Laimbeer was a key figure as the centre for the 1989 and 1990 NBA champions in 1989 and 1990, the infamous "Bad Boys" of the Detroit Pistons alongside Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and the eccentric Dennis Rodman.

Gaze was a five-time Australian Olympian from 1984 to 2000, serving as the flag bearer at the opening ceremonies and captain of the Boomers. He played briefly in the NBA, including part of the 1999 season with the San Antonio Spurs when they won their first NBA championship with the memorable twin towers of Robinson-Duncan.

Timms was a legendary point guard for the Australian Opals, and like Taylor, who played as a forward, she was a two-time Olympian. Taylor won three WNBA titles with the Phoenix Mercury and was the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 World Championship, leading Australia to the title.

Juan Carlos Navarro and Kevin Durant at the 2012 London Olympics final. GETTY IMAGES
Juan Carlos Navarro and Kevin Durant at the 2012 London Olympics final. GETTY IMAGES

Today, the NBA is no longer limited to American or naturalised players, as was the case until the end of the last century. In recent years, this trend has been reversed and not only have international players arrived from all over the world, but some are even eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2024. 

Among the most prominent names are Spaniards "La Bomba" Navarro and Jorge Garbajosa, Argentinians "Chapu" Nocioni and Fabricio Oberto, and other international basketball figures such as Mirza Delibasic, Panagiotis Giannakis, Ettore Messina, Dusan Ivkovic, and David Blatt, who have received their first nomination to enter the Hall of Fame in 2024.