Five most successful men's national basketball sides
Invented by James Naismith in the 1890s at Springfield, Massachusetts, USA Young Men's Christian Association gymnasium, basketball has flourished into one of the most popular sports internationally. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has held a World Championship on a more or less quadrennial basis since 1950, and the sport has been contested at the Summer Olympic Games 17 times. Below are listed the five most successful men's national teams in these competitions at the highest level.
5. Brazil, 2 Titles (2 FIBA World Championships)
Brazil has one of the most powerful men’s basketball teams in the Americas region, and is the only team besides the US to have participated in all of the FIBA World Cup games since 1950. Though the team did not win any gold medals at the Olympics, it did manage to win three bronze medals (1948, 1960, 1964) and always stayed within the top 10 teams in the Olympics. The Brazilian team has also won 2 gold medals (1959 and 1953), 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals in the FIBA World Cup games.
4. Argentina, 2 Titles (1 Olympic Gold, 1 FIBA World Championship)
The Argentina men’s national basketball team, governed by the Argentine Basketball Federation, is one of the most successful basketball teams in the world. It has won 12 gold medals and several bronze medals by participating in the South American Championships. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, the team won its first Olympic gold medal, and in the following Olympics, held in China in 2008, it won a silver medal. The Argentina men’s national basketball team also won the gold medal in the 1950 FIBA World Championship game hosted by the country itself.
3. Russia/USSR, 5 Titles (2 Olympic Golds, 3 FIBA World Championships)
The USSR national men’s basketball team had to be unfortunately dissolved in 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Today, the successor countries of the Soviet Union have established their own teams, with the Russian men’s national basketball team carrying the legacy of the Soviet team forward with its own realm of achievements. The team won 2 gold medals (1972 and 1988), 4 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals in the Summer Olympic games. Between 1963 and 1990, the team did not miss a single medal-stand appearance in the FIBA World Cup, earning 3 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze medals within this period.
2. Yugoslavia, 6 Titles (1 Olympic Gold, 5 FIBA World Championships)
Though the Yugoslavia Men’s Basketball Team has now been succeeded by a number of other teams following the country's breakup in the early 1990s, the performance of this team between the years 1943 and 1992 made for a highly praiseworthy legacy. The team captured the gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games held in Moscow in 1980. The team emerged as world champions in three FIBA World Cup games, namely those held in 1970, 1978, and 1990.
1. United States, 19 Titles (14 Olympic Golds, 5 FIBA Championships)
The USA men’s national basketball team, representing the United States of America in international championships, remains the best basketball team in the world in terms of historical team achievements in the FIBA and Summer Olympic Championships. The United States team is currently ranked number one in the FIBA World Rankings. It has won medals in all of the 17 Summer Olympics in which it has participated, and these include an incredible 14 gold medals. The US team has also earned their country 5 gold medals by winning the world championship in the FIBA World Cup games, including a gold medal in the most recently held FIBA World Cup in 2014 in Spain. Overall, the team's record since 1936 has been 445 wins and only 64 losses, giving a win percentage in excess of 87%.