Additional Quotes >> USA White 114, USA Blue 96
Las Vegas, Nev. ē July 24, 2010
USA Basketball Chairman
We had a terrific week. We had a great response from our players, they really worked hard. They were aggressive, and we really got a lot out of this week. (Thereís) tough decisions for us going forward for us, but the plan is to bring 15 players to New York and we advised everyone that weíll be making those decisions over the next 24-36 hours and players will be advised Monday at the latest.
I think what was said is that the next two weeks are important for the entire group of 15 to come back in even better shape. They each have a ball to take with them. Itís a different ball Ö itís a different feel. Shoot a lot of free throws in the two weeks and then all of that will take care of itself once we get to New York. We want to see everyone Ö We just want to continue to make progress.
First of all, weíre very happy to see everybody shoot the ball as well as they did. We said we are going to be athletic. Weíre guard-oriented but that gives the coaching staff opportunities to get a lot of things done. Weíre unconventional is the best way to describe it, but that will all come out in the wash in New York.
On Eric Gordon:
I would hope his elevator hasnít risen to the top Ö for his benefit as well as ours. He played extremely well, shot the ball well. Heís a terrific young guard and weíre happy for the progress heís made.
|Don't forget to check out the USA Basketball Video page for the USA White Team's pre-game locker room talk, as well as post-game interviews featuring Jerry Colangelo, Mike Krzyzewski, Stephen Curry, O.J. Mayo, Gerald Wallace and Russell Westbrook!|
USA Men's National Team Head Coach
As a coaching staff we thought it was a really good week. As always, coming to Las Vegas for USA Basketball was terrific. We want to thank the fans, so many people coming out for an intra-squad game, and it being on ESPN, it was a good showcase event for these guys. Theyíve done a really good job this week and weíre getting to have a personality for our basketball team right now and anxious to get down to 15 and go to New York and try and personalize the team a little bit more.
For us, nobody was on the fence. We said we were going to look at this for a week and thatís what we are going to do. At different times, different guys distinguished themselves but overall the unit has distinguished themselves. Just hearing what these guys are saying makes me feel good as a coach because they have the right attitude. They have the build a brotherhood, to build a team, being blue collar and trying to win. I was really pleased with Tyson tonight because he hasnít played for a while and the last couple of days heís started Ö I mean, he was on our team in 2007 when we earned the qualifier to the Olympics Ö to see him respond in a short period of time like that, that was very, very encouraging for me.
On Tyson Chandlerís shooting:
I would look at his stats Ö take a look at what he was from the field. Weíll take that shooting percentage and factor it into his free throw percentage and heíll be alright.
How much zone do you expect to see?
We will always be prepared for the zone. Internationally, there is really good teams. They like to play man but theyíll pack it in. I think weíll see more man with zone principles. Thatís what our NBA players learning to be international players have got to learn Ö that help side comes over and it stays there. I like the way we tried to distribute the ball today though. We have a couple of things against the zone that I think weíll be good. I would expect more of sluffing, pack it in man to man against us. We can really change ends well and thatís got to one of the strengths, before they ever set up the defense.
On Andre Iguodala:
I think Andre has had a great week. I think any of these guys would tell you that heís an easy guy to play with. He doesnít need the ball. I told him right after the ballgame out on the court that he was beautifully efficient. Iím not sure anyone has ever called him beautiful before Ö I know no one has ever called me beautiful. I was looking actually for a return of him saying, Ďwell coach you look beautiful tooí Ö maybe as we get to know each other more, heíll do that. Andre, yeah he can defend. You need guys out there who donít have to touch the ball long. Heís a fun guy to play Ö heíll be one of the key guys for our basketball team.
On the personality of the group:
Theyíre really good guys. They have listened. Whatever we have asked them to do, they have done it enthusiastically and worked really hard. I think we really have come together even more than I thought we could in this five days while youíre trying to do a selection process also. I think the attitudes that they display shows great respect for the game, great respect for playing for our country and as a result of that, I think theyíll do anything that they can Ö which we gotta make sure we ask them to do the best things to use their talents. I think there is a great spirit of cooperation.
On Eric Gordon:
Heís was real easy to play with because the amount of time he had the ball and the amount of points that came from him was great.
And part of it, I thought Derrick just played a beautiful game. Part of it is that I thought Derrick just played a beautiful game. I donít think he had a turnover. Did you have one? I was just testing him to see if he was honest. Heís a South Side Chicago guy so Iím just trying to get to know him better. That was good. But it was easy playing with him tonight because he gave you the ball in rhythm. Getting you the ball is one thing Ö that is great but if you can get it to really good players in rhythm, thatís the best. And those rhythm shots are the thing that is so beautiful about the game. And, I thought he did that and Eric came through hitting like that.
On choosing the 12-man roster:
I am unbelievably impressed with all of them not knowing if theyíre going to make the team. So, what we tell them throughout the week is Ďlook being a part of this system will make you better Ö weíre going to be honest with you Ö weíre going to tell you the truth and youíll always be part of our family whether you make this team or not. I mean, Tyson didnít make the Olympic team but heís back. Theyíre part of the family. Itís not an easy thing to do but as long as youíre honest about it and try to make the decisions are in the best interest of the team, just like trying to choose the Olympic team. It wasnít the necessarily the best 12 players. It was how we see them coming together as a unit. Thatís how this team will be chosen also. But, again, the players should be given immense credit for coming here like this.
On the week with the National Team:
It was good. I thought it was a good week. We got better as a team as a whole. We got guys understanding how we have to play. Today was good. It was time to showcase. The White team played really well Ö shot the ball great. Thatís how weíre going to have to play.
Did the team start to jell this week?
I think so. Weíve been jelling. We came a long way in only four days of practice. We came a long way in just that little short amount of time. I look forward to what this team can become.
I thought during the week everyone came in focused and playing hard. We were really aggressive the first couple of days, I thought after everything settled, we kind of calmed down and started to come together as a team. As the week went along we got better, we got our legs up under us and got in better shape and you started to see the progress over the course of the week. I think we did a good job finishing the week with a good game tonight.
All summer Iíve been in the gym. Like coach said I havenít been able to condition like I have wanted but I have been working on my game, my shots and my free throws. Iíve been knocking them down, knocking them down all summer. Iíve been knocking them down in practice. For whatever reason, I missed the first couple but coach said that we have to come back in better condition because when you run as hard as we do and get out there and get that aggressive, sometimes you come to the line and you donít slow down. My job is to push myself the next couple of weeks and be in the type of condition that when I step to the line, it makes it a lot easier for myself.
I think Coach made a huge point earlier in the week, saying that the 10 minute quarters, we got to try to win each quarter. I think that the biggest thing: when youíre out there, there is no pacing yourself because itís only 10 minutes. When itís a longer game, the talent kind of rises but when itís a shorter game you got to finish those quarters so that you know you win each one. So then at the end of the game, youíre leading on the scoreboard. You donít want to allow it to be close. That was the thing that stuck out in my mind out of this week Ö play hard every second youíre out there because the game is shortened.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Like Tyson said, I think when we first got here everyone was a little anxious and a little antsy to start playing. Once we start to learn the defensive concepts and offensive schemes, we got that down and guys start to get comfortable each day. I think we are all looking forward to going to New York and I think these next couple of weeks, we are all going to stay in contact and try to build that chemistry every day. Like I said we are all looking forward to going to New York and also go to Turkey. Tonight was a great game and a great effort for both teams.
We are going to be a team that blue collar team thatís going to come out and work hard and play hard every possession. I think thatís key in basketball. If you ask anyone of these guys, every possession is key. If we go out there and play as hard as we can and play team basketball, weíll live with the results.
On playing against Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green:
Itís always fun. Weíre all competitive. Russell brings that out of me and Jeff. But tonight it was them two against me. It was a lot of fun. It was kind of different to see them with another jersey on but Iím sure when we get together in New York, the chemistryís going to stay there. It was fun to play against Russell and Jeff.
I think it would be easier if you play three minutes and play as hard as you can for three or four minutes and then you get a sub. We have so many great guys on this team Ö we have three or four point guards, two or three wings and couple of bigs so you can play hard for three minutes straight and then somebody is going to come in and get you and play the same way. I think thatís what unique about this team. Itís a little different playing in the NBA. Of course, you can pace yourself a little bit more but here everybody is playing hard for a short period of time and then coming out.
For the most part, I just want to say ... I donít think you guys understand how important it is for us as players to come out here and play with USA on our chest. For us to have a chance to do that Ö in practice, weíre really anxious. Everybody wants to make it but we know thatís not possible. So, like I said before, guys are going out anxious and getting our legs under us. But, for the most part, we played a pretty good game. By the end, guys were kind of getting into the USA Basketball mode. I think it ended out the week pretty good.
I think this game was definitely a test for us. Thatís what we scrimmage for. We came out here and we tested to see exactly where we need to be. Personally, I think Ė I can always get better Ė but I think I did pretty good out there. The people that didnít do well, they need to go and work on it. Thatís just like what Mr. Colangelo said. This is a test for us. Basically going out there to see what we need to work and we have two weeks to get better at it.
Los Angeles Clippers
On representing the Clippers for Team USA:
ďWe donít really have a good reputation of winning. I want to bring the mindset that as long as I stay on this team and try to win with them I can bring the winning attitude to the Clippers.Ē
On training camp for him:
ďPersonally I think I did pretty good. The first day I wasnít knocking down threeís like I should but I did get to the free throw line and did different things. For me, I just need to hit threes, play really good defense and contribute to this team.Ē
On the teamís growth:
ďDefinitely. We got a lot better. Early we were struggling against the college kids and now towards the end we were blowing them out. We were working hard against each other.Ē
Oklahoma City Thunder
How was the week?
It was fun. Having a chance to play with the young guys, up and coming in the NBA. It was fun; I enjoyed it and learned a lot.
What did you learn?
The international game to be specific. Just the camaraderie of joining some young guys together and being able to create a team from nothing so fast. The way we came together was special and thatís something you never forget.
Thoughts on the game?
Playing with guys like Rondo, Billups Ö Igoudala, playing against him Ö I mean, you learn a lot from those guys. They know the game Ö a lot of knowledge there so I soaked it all in and took what they knew.
What was your favorite part of the week?
Favorite part of the week had to be the game. Having a chance to just finally to go up and down in a game situation against these guys was fun.Ē
Whatís it like to have other Thunder players on the team?
It was great, having two teammates here. It shows our franchise is going in the right direction.Ē
On the game:
I just wanted to have fun tonight. There were a few things that I wanted to accomplish during the game; play unselfish basketball, take care of the ball and play hard on defense and think I did that. I also wanted to create some pressure on defense so it would rub off on other guys and get everybody into it.
On training camp:
Itís been fun. When you are playing basketball and playing hard, then we are having fun. Doing that is the greatest feeling for a lot of these guys. We all enjoy being around each other. Itís great competition and we all have a common goal and that is to go to Turkey and win a gold medal.
On his individual strides this week:
Iíve been working hard all summer. Iíve been getting ready for this. This will also help me for the regular season with Philly so Iím really excited.
What you learned this week?
I definitely learned to be more patient Ö learned to just come out here and work hard. I felt like we were all working hard and just came out and played our hardest.
Thoughts on the week?
It was a lot of fun. I just enjoyed being around the guys, some of the elite players in the league and guys had great personalities and we were having fun.
Thoughts on the game?
When you get your time, try to make the most of it and thatís what I tried to do.
On the game:
The game was fun. It was up tempo. Our team (Blue) had few too many turnovers but other than that it was great to come out here and put on a show for everybody. Obviously, Kevin (Durant) had a great game. We need to keep building as a team and keep working from here. But I felt we took another step in the right direction tonight.Ē
On training camp:
From the first day all the way on we got better each and every single day. So it felt good to get this week out of the way but in two weeks we need to come back, be in better shape and be more of a unit.
Los Angeles Lakers
How did the week go?
It was great. It was all about really camaraderie, coming together. If we do that and put USA first, play some defense, we should be successful.
Is your role to be a leader on this team?
Of course it is. Iím just going to be myself. I want the guys to be themselves. Just put team first and focus on winning.
Thoughts on the game?
It was cool. Defense wins. I think tonight we were the better defensive team but that can switch because that team over there can get hot and kick our butts. Tonight we were able to get some stops and kind of stretch the lead out. Thatís what we need to do when we go overseas.
Did he feel like a hometown guy tonight?
I did. This is going to be a fun trip for me. I mean, I play for LA, so in this city, LA is their adopted son. And then I get to go to New York, where Iím from, and then go to Europe for basketball. Itís awesome
On the week:
I think the team is starting to gel for the most part. There is a lot of guys still but they are going to break those guys down in New York and I think weíll get a better feel for each other so Iím looking forward to it. I hope I make the team and have a good week in New York.
On the game:
It was very competitive. Give White credit. They got off to a great start. They executed offensively and got easy looks. They shot a great percentage from the three. As far as Blue, we tried to continue to get accustomed to each other.
I want to start by thanking the USA Basketball staff for inviting all of us here because this is very important to us, playing for the US and the fans. We appreciate them and we love them because without them we wouldnít be here. This whole experience was just fun. Going out there and competing, playing against the best players in the world. And while youíre here, you start to get to know every individual and talk to them on the regular like your brothers and start a brotherhood. I guess thatís what USA Basketball is all about, come together so that when we go over seas, itís just us against everybody and we had a lot of fun here.
It wasnít about me. You got to have trust, especially on the defensive end. Thatís what I was doing, trying to play passing lanes Ö try to get to the ball, knowing my teammates have my back. We got to learn early, gotta get ready and jell quick because two weeks is going to fly by if I do make the team. Itís going to be exciting going over there with each other.
You really have to be in shape. Iíll say last year, Iím in better shape than last year. Itís hard, pressuring the ball all the way up the court then when they pass up the court, really trying to get them out of their offense because it helps us. Right now, I think Iím feeling good. My knees are feeling good and like I said, we just canít wait. Weíre ready to play.
Oklahoma City Thunder
On the game:
ďThe game was fun. Even though we (Blue team) didnít win, it was real competitive. It was a good time.Ē
On training camp:
ďItís been great. We did a good job of competing, playing hard, trying to get better and trying to become a team.Ē