Additional Quotes >> USA Blue Team 49, USA White Team 47 (SD OT)
Aug. 12, 2010 • New York, N.Y.
Can we get your thoughts on the game?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, well, first of all, it's an honor for us to be a part of this first ever world basketball festival, and to have it in sudden death was great. I thought our guys did well. I think we got here mid afternoon to just get shots up and do some five on zero. But still, it's a different it's a little bit different environment. I thought our guys reacted very well to it in the second half.
But the defense, the effort is all there, and obviously when you're playing against one another, putting different combinations in, everything is not going to be mainstream. Obviously I would have liked to have shot better. But then our defense probably was pretty good to do that. So good tune up. We're looking forward to this weekend when we actually play against somebody else.
JERRY COLANGELO: I'll just add that the week has been challenging from the coaches’ standpoint and the players' standpoint with all the activity, but it's been well worth it, and we still have a lot more of the rest of the weekend. Some of us are going up to the Hall of Fame inductions tomorrow night in Springfield, of course the scrimmage against China on Saturday afternoon and then the double header on Sunday and then departures. So every day we feel like we're making some progress.
One guy who has been as consistent as anyone on this roster is the guy who's the MVP, Andre Iguodala. He's been terrific and has been well deserving of the honor.
ANDRE IGUODALA: Well, this has been fun. You know, it's been a great experience being with USA Basketball, and just trying to take full advantage of the opportunity to play with these guys and being coached by Coach Krzyzewski. His list of accomplishments speaks for itself, so everybody listens to him, and I'm just trying to play my role with this team. Everybody has the same goal, and we're all trying to contribute whatever we can bring to the team.
Talk about the atmosphere that you had tonight.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I think we'll be excited for Sunday no matter what, but just being in New York this whole week, starting on Tuesday, and being a part of this for this period of time, with the press conferences, all the people who are here and the attention that it's drawing is kind of like what we'll see when we get to Turkey because the world's attention will be on you. And for us to end our time here playing in the Garden is especially good. Hopefully we'll get a lot of U.S. fans there to cheer these guys on as we go forward.
ANDRE IGUODALA: It was just great to get on an open court for the guys to get tired. We've been practicing just kind of half court, playing five minute segments. I think it was good for us to get tired tonight and try to get that second wind, so when we do play those other teams, guys' minutes will be cut a little bit more, but we can play as hard as we can and then we've got another solid group coming after that.
The attitude was great, fans were there, and it was good to get the support from the NBA players, LeBron, Carmelo just to name a few. We really want to represent our country with that name on the front of our chests.
(Question about baskets not having padded stops)
ANDRE IGUODALA: No, all the guys have been playing basketball for a long time, and growing up we played crates on trees, and you ran into the tree if you dunked. So I think we're used to it.
Was it tough to come into this environment and realize you had some business to take care of here? Did there need to be a reminder that this is still part of the process and we need to take this time seriously?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: These guys have been very mature about everything. They love representing and are very proud representing their country, and they've worked hard and they've worked hard again tonight. You know, this has been a great group. We just have to keep developing. This is only the seventh practice, so to speak, that we've had. So we've I think we've gotten a lot in a short period, but before Turkey we have to get a lot more in.
ANDRE IGUODALA: Yeah, definitely agree. I think everybody sacrifices for one another. The biggest thing is that guys want to win, first and foremost, and then when you have those veterans like Lamar Odom and Chauncey Billups in there that have won NBA Championships, they know what it means to take care of business. They've been in the NBA. They have so many games in the league; game 63 may not seem important, but they found a way to win that. They bring that expertise and that experience to our team, making the right plays at the right time. Everybody is ready to play, but they're also there as the older guys making sure we're on the right page.
Jerry, I don't know if you've heard, but the emcees were interviewing the other pros, and they all said, “Yeah, I wish I could be playing.” What was your reaction? Did you have a reaction to any of those things?
JERRY COLANGELO: No, I think we got to a point with so much focus on free agency that it was going to be a long shot for anyone to play, and the decision was give everyone a pass because we had a group of guys who were really hungry to make their own point. And so what Coach said and what you're hearing from Andre and the guys who were up here before us, it's consistent.
This is their time, this is their moment. They feel confident, and we have a job to do, and we feel we have a great chance to be successful. The fact that those guys were here being supportive I think is indicative of their support for USA Basketball.
Did Curry show you a lot tonight? He had a pretty good second half.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, Curry has showed everybody a lot during his rookie year. I think it's great that these guys who are older players, once they saw that he was hot or when he was open, they just give up the ball. As much as I loved him hitting the three, I loved the fact that all the veteran players who were with him tried to get him the three. And I think it shows a high level of unselfishness. But Stephen is a great young player, and he gives us a weapon that we're going to need throughout this next month.
(Question regarding the final roster)
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I think we might even have a decision by this weekend. We're not rushing it because all these guys have done a good job. But at some point you have to move on. And when that time comes, it won't be because one guy is better than the other, it'll be because we feel a core group of players that we're going to build a team around, like Andre being one of them, who complements them the best. So that will be a tough decision. But those are good tough decisions to have.
JERRY COLANGELO: You know, it's possible that by the end of the weekend, we've been talking about it as the game was being played, actually. Maybe we do let all 12 players know who we think are going to be the 12 before we depart, and if we bring one or two or three other players, they'll know that they're in reserve. They can practice and so forth, but it's probably important before we depart to let the 12 players, whoever they are determined to be, to know they're a part of the 12.
Please make a brief comment about the game tonight:
LAMAR ODOM: Incredible experience, playing at the Radio City Music Hall. I guess it's going to cap off a great week that we had here. Looking forward to getting started, getting it going. That's about it.
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: It was a great experience being able to play at Radio City. For me, I know [Lamar] is probably used to being around this atmosphere, but for me coming to New York City and always just watching different performances at Radio City, it's awesome for us to have been the show tonight.
As far as the game goes, I thought we fought hard. It was a good game. I thought there were way too many turnovers for all of the guards, all of us, just making bad decisions. But other than that, we fought hard, we played hard, and we're just really looking forward to not playing against each other every time now and trying to get some playing against some really good teams out there. Other than that, it was a great time.
KEVIN DURANT:: Yeah, like they said, it was a great experience for me playing at Radio City Music Hall. Watched a lot of events there, but to play basketball there was unbelievable. So it was fun for me, and the game was fun. We got the crowd going into it.
But I think, like Chauncey said, we need to cut down on making costly mistakes. But overall I think we played hard, and we're just ready to play against some other competition now.
For each of you guys, was it strange to have fans in only one section?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: For me it was definitely strange. Obviously this place isn't set up for a basketball game, but they made it happen, and for a great cause. But yeah, it's weird; it's definitely weird to play a game like that.
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah, you're so used to playing in big arenas; everywhere you look you see fans. But this was a little different. That's what made it unique. The fans were into the game. That made it better for us, as well. But I think we were focused on trying to get better today, and it showed.
LAMAR ODOM: Yeah, literally we played on a big stage tonight, and I think it was different. The ambiance, the background as far as shooting the ball. But it was fun. It was fun.
What was more intense, today's game or the practices you've been having? And also, how would you compare today's scrimmage to an NBA All Star game?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, I think our practices have been just as intense. You know, obviously you don't have the fans there, so it's a little different. Fans bring a different atmosphere to it. They bring a different feel to the game. But we've been going extremely hard in practice.
I can liken it a little bit to the All Star game, only we play a lot more serious, we're trying to get something done, trying to play defense, trying to play with a cause as opposed to the All Star game you're just trying to showcase. So a little different in that aspect.
KEVIN DURANT: You know, I think like Chauncey said, our practices have been we stepped it up. Last week in Vegas we were trying to get offensive schemes and defensive schemes, and once we came here everything were natural. As soon as practice started we wanted to go. I think our practices have been going very well. Of course no fans are in there, so it's more hands on teaching.
But today was more like the All Star game, I think, a little bit more show. But at the same time I think we tried to get things done. We had more defensive plays we tried to use and schemes we tried to use. But at the same time it had an All Star feel to it.
Talk about the shooting in the first half and the turnovers. Do you account that to a weird environment, the defense from the other team or just an off night or what?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: You can attribute that to a lot of different things. No matter what night it is, you're not going to make most of the shots as a team unless you're getting a lot of lay ups and fast break points, which we don't try to do.
But you know, those guys, both teams I thought played good defense, a lot of turnovers for us. A lot of them were caused by good defense. As far as the shots go, we had a lot of open shots and couldn't knock them down. But we've got a lot of great shooters on this team, and I expect at some point for us to knock most of those shots down.
LAMAR ODOM: I think you can attribute to, we're in training camp right now. Everything we do is hard and full throttle and sometimes it's not going to be pretty. We're focusing on defense and getting stops and doing one thing, and that's winning. We're going to find a way to do it and get the job done.
When you're playing hard like this against each other as opposed to at John Jay, how much better has this made you (Inaudible)?
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS: Well, I think personally we have the best talent in the world, and I think us going up against each other every day only makes our chances greater. There's some great teams out there. There's some teams that have been together for a long time, a lot of veteran players. So we've got a challenge ahead of us. But together, collectively we just really feel like we've got a great chance to be successful.