I love to talk NBA conspiracy theories: frozen envelopes, rigged playoff games, you name it. I don't believe in any of them, of course, but the one involving Nike and this USA basketball team photo is a conspiracy that makes a lot of sense. Darren Rovell eloquently explains exactly what's going on here:
Here's the only thing you have to know in advance. Dwight Howard is the only member of this team who is not sponsored by Nike.
Coach K is sitting. When a team stands, a coach normally stands. Why is this significant? Because Coach K's left foot just happens to be blocking the adidas logo on Dwight Howard's left foot.
Every player is in height order, with the exception of Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh ... What does this allow for? It gives Howard an excuse to hold the ball and be the only player to not have his hand behind his back. This conveniently helps Howard cover the Nike logo on his shorts.
So what do you think, was this photo intentionally set up this way by the folks at Nike? They say no; I say absolutely. A company that spends (literally) hundreds of millions on marketing these NBA stars is not going to allow another shoe company's logo to be seen in a photo like this. Especially when you consider that these players are among the most recognizable individuals that will be seen by a global audience during this summer's Olympics.