2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11

Day Two Practice Quotes

July 23, 2013 • Las Vegas, Nev.

Mike Krzyzewski

Mike Krzyzewski (USA head coach, Duke University)
How much did it mean to you personally to win gold at the 2008 Olympic Games?
The best feeling ever. And the way the gold medal game was won, because we were in trouble in the fourth quarter, a two-point lead, and the camaraderie and togetherness that we had developed came (through). It wasn't a play, it was an attitude. And especially Kobe and Dwyane took over during that time. And it was exhilarating to win, and it was exhilarating for those guys, too. I thought the world saw that, the genuineness, but especially our country saw, and that's why there are a lot of guys here.

On how 2008 helped USA Basketball attract future players:
Again, it's the way it should be. So, in some respects you are trying to have them buy something they already should have bought.

What would gold medal number four and five do for your legacy?
Well, it's not so much my legacy. I'm fine. I'll be alright. It's USA Basketball. In other words, you should never go into anything trying to double or triple, or whatever, what you have done before. You singularly have to do what that group has not done before. In other words ('08, '10 and '12) were all different teams. So, if you tried to say, 'Well you won, oh no, not all of you guys did that.' So, it's got to be a new experience, and that's the exciting part of it, is to be immersed in the moment of that moment.

What is the most exciting part for you of coming back?
First of all, I hope that I'm still coaching, that the most exciting for me, and you still have a passion and the commitment to do this at a high level. But you know what, the excitement that you feel when you see these guys work and how they've responded. You guys are not allowed in our individual meetings, our team meetings, but we do a lot of stuff to try to get these guys to understand USA Basketball. And it's emotional, it's patriotic, and they respond to it.

Do you sense that guys like Klay Thompson, who have played for USA Basketball, have a much easier transition to this point?
I think over 20 of these guys have participated in some USA team, which we love because that's the way it should be. All our youth teams are doing great, they've won gold medals in their world championships, and that's the stream, you have to keep that stream moving.

How would you characterize the pipeline of players at this camp?
One, the fact that they are not in the pool or on any team yet and they are here, is terrific. There's is a lot of talent here. It's loaded at the guard spots. That doesn't mean the other guys aren't talented, but you have eight-to-10 really outstanding guards. So, I look at them and I look at the guys who might come back and then maybe some of the guys how haven't participated yet who are veterans also.

When did you fall in love with the Olympics?
A long time ago. I started in 1979 for USA Basketball with Coach Knight and Coach Taylor in the Pan America Games in Puerto Rico, and then coach Knight was good enough to me to let me be like a special assistant in '84, and I did a lot of the scouting. In the Marriott in L.A., I had video-tape equipment. I was the young guy trying to learn more. As a result I developed relationships with Coach Newell, Mr. Iba. You know, that the normal, every day, good coach didn't have those opportunities. So, I was touched by a lot of Olympic coaches. I mean when you think of the Olympic coaches --first of all in '72, '68, Mr. Iba. Dean Smith and I became great, great friends, and obviously, we competed. Dave Gavitt and I became close; I worked with Coach John Thompson, I was with the '92 Dream Team. Lenny Wilkens, Rudy Tomjanovich. I wasn't as close with Rudy Tomjanovich, but Lenny and I were assistants with the Dream Team, so I understand the tradition of the Olympic movement for basketball in our country.

Why did you bring Coach Thompson in and what do you think the players got out of it?
He likes being (here), and he lives in Vegas a lot. He and I are great, great friends. He's one of the legendary figures, not just in basketball but in our country. When you think of the progress we have made in our race relations, you have to consider John one of the key people in that regard. Look, all those guys know who he is. I don't know if you could see, I don't know where you guys where at, but if you could see there eyes fixated on him it was like, 'Whoa.' It was great. It was good of John to do that.

What did you learn from the loss to Greece in 2006?
Well, that we didn't know what the heck we were doing. Not with the pick-and-roll, but we didn't know what we were doing in regards to international basketball, scouting. We didn't respect it as much as we should. You needed older players; you needed to develop a program. It wasn't about selecting a team, because basically a lot of times you select a group and it never becomes a team. It was developing a program and from that, we changed everything, and it needed to be changed. And you found out first hand, not being able to respond to outstanding basketball by Greece. Everyone would say we didn't play (well) -- they played great. How come they played great, and we didn't play well? How come they have this, and how come Spain has this and how come Argentina has this spirit. We learned from the world. A lot of American people, they never wanted to say that. The world is good. It's really good.

What are you seeing out of the guards?
What we told all those point guards, we told them the story of Chris Paul and Deron Williams, and we said that both of those guys played together and they are both outstanding point guards. They also had to play differently because they were playing with Kobe, LeBron, Durant. And so, don't come in and everybody try to be a point guard. Try to be a guard. And you are seeing Kyrie and Damian Lillard play together, so we are looking at how they can adapt. We are watching how they adapt. I thought today, not just those two guys, but all of them did a really good job.

You'll have a tough decision?
It's not a decision right now. We are not picking 12 guys from here. All of these guys ... you watch them during the year, see who else is coming back, who else we might want to draft who haven't played yet, into service. So, it's an ongoing process.

DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
How is camp going?
Tough camp, I mean there are a lot of talented players here and great competition. But we are in here competing, and we are having fun at the same time.

How do you think you are doing personally?
I'm think I'm getting better as the days go by. It's a big adjustment for me, and that's something that they said coming in. You won't play the way you play with your team, so it's a big adjustment for me, but I'm enjoying it while I'm doing it and trying to get better.

What strengths are you trying to put on display?
Just showing that I can control the paint, rebound the ball. That's my main role here, just controling the paint.

Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
On day two:
Day two was good. It was just like yesterday -- everybody came out and competed, played to the best of their ability. I think the scrimmages that we had today were really good and showed how much everybody really wants it.

How do you think you are doing personally?
I'm doing what I normally do. I'm a hustle guy. I'm working hard, trying to grab rebounds, block shots, and defend my man and finish strong when I get the ball around the rim.

You've won gold medals with USA Basketball developmental teams, how does this experience compare?
I think the feel is very similar because we are all here for one thing, which is to win a gold medal, but the only difference is it's a bigger stage now. It's a lot bigger stage than playing in the junior Olympics. I won three gold medals with Don Showalter and USA Basketball, me Mike (Kidd-Gilchrist), Bradley (Beal), were all on the same team. We had a bunch of guys who are still involved with the USA team today, so it's a blessing that they followed us throughout our careers and wanted us to be here at training camp for the national team.

Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans)
How did day two compare to day one?
A lot more competition. I think we played most of the day today, even though we played a lot yesterday. I think we got a lot more time to play against different players and try to prove ourselves and try to become better players.”

Have you gotten closer to any of the guys over the last few days?
I think I’ve pretty much known all of them.

Does that make it easier coming to a camp like this, having that familiarity?
I mean, we’re all good guys. It’s going to be easy either way. The guys here are really outgoing and really open and really just fun to be around.

What are you expecting from the final two days of camp?
Coach said tomorrow is going to be an easier day. Hopefully we get to play still a little bit more, or maybe even just get some shots up and get a rhythm, so that when we play that next day, on Thursday, it’s just really fun and we all compete. We all show our talents, and I guess for the most part, show our fans that we want to be here and playing for USA on our chests.

Are you pleased with everything so far overall?
Yeah for sure man. It’s been fun. You compete against the best guards, the best shooting guards, the best forwards, the best centers. It’s like passes that you can make in the league, you can’t make them here. Everybody here is super long. Everybody here is super athletic. It is an adjustment, and that’s the fun part of playing basketball.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
How did day two compare to day one?
Everybody was just a little bit more aggressive today, including myself. I was a little bit more reserved yesterday. Today I kind of just tried to separate myself from everybody.

 

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Bobcats)
How do you think you are doing personally?
I think I'm playing well. I'm just focused on defense. I'm just having fun with all of the guys. I'm learning a lot, too. I'm learning a lot from everybody. Even the coaching staff, I'm learning a lot from the coaching staff.

You've won gold medals with USA Basketball developmental teams, how does this experience compare?
It's the real thing now, so it's a dream come true for me. Even to be in this category with everybody. It's a lot different.

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
How did you envision yourself three years ago? Did you see yourself here and how do you envision yourself in the next three, four or five years?
My coach in college that I always used to work out with, he always told me because I always said that I wanted to make it to the NBA, I wanted to play in the league. He would always say, don’t just make it, go be one of the best point guards, go be an All-Star, and when he used to say it to me I was more concerned with getting there first. But now, I’ve come along way mentally since then. Now, I want more.

What are the coaches out here looking to see from you?  
They’re looking for us to play hard, guys to have each other’s back, just be team players and do what it takes to help your team win.

What’s the skill set when you look at this U.S. team that you think the team needs most of all? Is it with a point-guard, big man, outside shooting?
I think you need shooting, and you need active guys, athletic, and guys that can defend and guys that can make shots.

Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State University)
How is this expereince as one of two college players participating?
I definitely feel like I'm blending in well. These guys are just out here playing the game just like I am. They love to play the game, having fun doing it. The only difference is they are getting paid, I'm still in college right now. We are just coming out here and giving it our all.

Are you enjoying your time?
Most definitely. I was very ecstatic coming out here, being in the presence of these guys is just unbelievable. I'm learning a lot talking to some of them. It just really opens my eyes to a lot of things. I am a good player, and my confidence and self esteem are high because I'm out here competing with these guys, so I know I can compete with anybody in the country.

Did playing at the FIBA U19 World Championship help ready you for this training camp?
Definitely. Going over and playing against those guys who have been playing together for years, months, weeks, who knew what they were doing and had a nice, good structure fitted into the system, playing against those guys who were very talented, helped me with my game. I learned so many things over there that I can implement into my game over here.

What strengths are you trying to put on display?
That I've improved on my jump shot and my assist-to-turnover ratio.

How did day two compare to the first day?
We played a lot more games today, so I got a lot more action and got to compete with these guys a little bit more. A little bit more work in today.”

Do you like that it was more scrimmaging?
Oh definitely. It puts me out there and lets me learn first-hand. The game changes and the difference between college and the NBA next level and learn some things of how to control my game and how to play the game, especially at the guard position.

Did you know any of the other guards before you came out here?
No, not at all.

Has it been cool getting to know some of them?
Oh definitely. They’re great guys. They’re just like any normal person. Most people put them on such a high pedestal that they’re scared to go and actually talk to them. If you just go and take the chance, you’ll find that they’re real great guys off the court. They’re human.

What are you expecting in the final two days of camp? Do you have any remaining goals?
Just to make sure that I go out of here leaving a good word for myself, with the NBA guys, the coaches and just USA Basketball in general.

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
Did the FIBA ball feel a lot better today?
Oh yeah. It takes a day or two to get used to it. It’s a whole different feel from the NBA ball. From the whole team standpoint we’re all shooting a lot better.

What kind of feedback have you been getting?
Not much actually. They’re just letting us go a lot right now, so I haven’t been getting that much feedback. I’ve just been playing as hard as I can, and I feel like I’ve gotten better in just two days.

What are the coaches telling you that they’re looking for?
Just how hard we play, how focused we are. Play defense, play with energy, dive on loose balls, all the little stuff. They know we can all score and play, so they’re looking for weaker stuff.

What are your goals here?
My goals are just to get better every day, learn something from all these guys. We all got different games. We’re all here for a reason and all very talented players. The goal is to play as hard as I can and get better from this experience. Each USA experience I’ve gotten a lot better.

Dion Waiters

Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Are you comfortable not playing the point or going in not intending to play the point?
At the end of the day coaches draw up the play to get the ball to their best player, so I’m not worried about that. I know in a certain situation, where if I have to go, I know coach is going to come to me. I’m able to put the ball on the floor or create for others, not just myself.

What did Coach (John) Thompson say to you guys?
He’s just a funny guy. He keeps it real. He always keeps it real. He was just giving us knowledge, and he said that he’s proud of us that we’re out here. That was pretty much it.

Do you know him at all?
I met him, and I shook his hand. I showed respect. Hall of Famer, especially for the community and black culture also, just a role model and somebody that growing up you looked up to. He was a reason that one of my favorite players got into the NBA, Allen Iverson. Nobody wanted to take a chance on Allen Iverson, and he did. Look at how it panned out. So, I (have) respect for everything he does and for everything he does for us still.

John Wall

John Wall (Washington Wizards)
How did day two compare to day one?
It was a lot of fun. I think we played more games today and played against other teams instead of playing against the people that were in our group. It was a lot of fun, a lot of excitement. Every day it gets better.

What are your remaining goals for the final two days of camp?
My goal is just to keep getting better, playing every day and get ready for the game on Thursday.