Irving, Curry, Thompson, Davis, Harden And Cousins Receive World Cup Rings
With six members of the 2014 USA Men’s World Cup Team in New York this weekend for the NBA All-Star Game, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo took the opportunity to present them with their championship rings in honor of winning gold at the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
The presentations took place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in between practices for Sunday’s game. The six players who received their rings were DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), James Harden (Houston Rockets), World Cup MVP Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).
“We’ve been on a good roll now for quite a few years, and it’s what the ring represents,” said Colangelo. “It’s not about gold and silver and diamonds or anything like that. It represents what a team did together in accomplishing a goal and an objective and coming back with a championship. That’s really what it’s all about. The ring means a lot more than the value of the ring. It’s about teamwork, it’s about team, and an experience that everyone shared together. It’s a pretty good way to remember something that you accomplished.”
The World Cup was somewhat of a springboard for several players who have followed that success with strong 2014-15 NBA campaigns. It’s not a coincidence that players who are involved with USA Basketball in the summer also find themselves playing in the NBA All-Star Game.
“We said years ago that we felt that if you create a culture where the guys feel comfortable, that experience can be something that really benefits them in their careers,” said Colangelo. “I think they can be better people, better players because of that culture, bring that culture back to their teams. The teams receive the benefit and the NBA ultimately receives a great benefit.
“They just grow up in front of your eyes. We’ve seen many of our players go in and have great seasons right after participating in a World Cup or Olympics, and that’s very satisfying.”