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DeAndre Jordan

Additional Quotes: U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team 113, Venezuela 69 (8/8/16)

  • Date:
    Aug 8, 2016

USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)
Opening statement:
Venezuela is so well-coached.  They are tough guys.  They try to control tempo and did for a long period of time.  They make you play defense and then we fouled a lot as a result of that because you have to play it longer.  We didn’t get a good offensive rhythm because of their defense and then in the second quarter, our defense picked up.  I thought Jimmy (Butler) was a huge factor in that.  He just came in and really gave us a big lift.  I thought DeAndre (Jordan), those two guys defensively kind of picked the whole thing up for us.  I think we wore them down as the game went along.

Can a sluggish start help you refocus?
It’s not like we weren’t ready to play.  We just fouled so it becomes disruptive and then they’re playing good defense and then you don’t hit some shots, it becomes a different game.  And that’s good for us overall.  To see how we would respond.  Thank goodness that our defense stayed in there.  They were great from the foul line, we were to.  We didn’t put them on the foul line in the second quarter.  This team, even when we haven’t played well offensively for periods, we’ve always done a good job defensively so that’s a great sign.

Was some of the foul difficulty adjusting to some of the international rules and having to guard more in the post?
I think one of the things is they have a big body in Echenique.  It’s like a continuous dribble down there.  He keeps banging on you and then he can pass from there.  It’s actually good offense from their coaching staff.  What we have to learn to do is not just adjust to hands and that, play on top of them.  Try not to let him get the ball.  We haven’t had to do that yet.  So tonight that gave us some good experience playing against a big guy like that.  We’re going to be playing against tall guys but I’m not sure we’re going to be playing against anybody … although Baynes from Australia is pretty big like that.  He was a good player.  It’s tough to get around that guy down there.

How do you think DeMarcus back from tonight because obviously he had a tough whistle?
He has to bounce back great.  You don’t have an alternative on how you play in every game and he will.  He’ll be really good.  Australia, we’ll now watch them really close.  I’ve seen them for periods of their first two games.  They played great.  They haven’t turned the ball over.  Baynes has been terrific for them in the low post and you have two of the better passes in the tournament in Dellevadova and Bogut.  They’ve really passed the ball well.  They probably have about 35 assists between them in two games and maybe four or five turnovers.  That’s pretty good handling of the ball.  It will a different type of team to play against and they’ll start five NBA players.

Can you explain the choice to live on a boat and do you miss part of the Olympic experience?
Well we don’t live on a boat; we’re staying on a boat.  I actually live in Durham, North Carolina and have a swimming pool.  And once in a while I get on a raft and lie in there.  But I never really thought about living on a boat.  Since 1992, the USA teams have stayed in different locations and because of the accommodations here, that was good.  It’s not our boat.  We’re not the only people on the boat.  There are other people on the boat that we see.  We say “Good Morning” to, “Hello”.  We’ve actually made friends on the boat.  I never knew I would have boat friends.  In fact, now that I’m talking about, I might go buy a boat and put it in my … I’d have to have a bigger swimming pool.  It’s a place to stay and we’re here to play basketball.  I’ll tell you what:  the people in Rio have been unbelievable as far as their treatment of us and their hospitality.  We’re fortunate to be here for the Olympics, whether we’re on a boat or not.

Did you see any elements in that first quarter that might give Australia hope for an upset?
Well, I’m sure Australia sees a lot of things that they can do against us because they’re really good.  Australian basketball is terrific.  One of my closest friends in sport is Patrick Hunt.  I’ve known him for almost 30 years.  The basketball in Australia is fantastic.  So they can beat us.  We know that and we’ll prepare accordingly.  I don’t they’ve gone back to their boat or home or apartment, wherever they’re staying and thinking that they can’t beat us.  We know that they feel like they can beat us and we understand that.  I think it will be a really good game.

Carmelo Anthony
Slow start and then you had a great defensive play to get the guys going a bit?
We kind of knew they were going to slow the game up … change the pace of the game.  We knew that they didn’t want to play an up temp style game.  We wasn’t expecting it to be like that.   I think once we settled down and made our adjustments to the way that they was calling the game, to the way that Venezuela wanted to play.  In that second quarter, we picked it up defensively and turned things around.

Can you talk about the sequence where you got the steal and then hit the 3?
We was looking for kind of a flow of the game, especially they slowed the game up.  They wanted us to play in half court.  They held it to the end of the shot clock every time, made us defend the whole shot clock.  Once we got defensively settled in, we was ok.

Is everything under control on your way to the gold medal?
So far, so good.  We still got a couple more games.  We know Australia is going to be a tough one for us just from how physical they are, how they like to play.  We’ll be ready for that one.

What were the fans saying to you at the end?
It was just partying.  There is always a party in Rio.

How worried were you after a quarter?
We wasn’t worried.  We just had to kind of making some adjustments.  They changed the pace of the game, something that they did back when we played them in the US but it was a different pace of the game that they played with tonight.  They kept us in half court.  We didn’t get out in transition.  We missed some shots early, played their game.  But, once we made those adjustments, we were good.

Are you enjoying this leadership role that you’ve taken on here?
I mean it’s come natural to me.  It’s something that’s genuine.  Something that I’ve always done.  And just leading this team is easy when you have guys on your team who are willing to listen, great players on this team.  You tell them something once, you advise them once, great players pick it up quicker.

On passing Michael Jordan on the USA Basketball Olympic scoring list?
Anytime you can break a record or make history or pass somebody like Michael Jordan … We still have more games to go so hopefully we can break more records.

How is Australia different from what you have seen so far?
They’re tough.  I haven’t seen them play yet in their first two matches.  But, from what I’ve known in previous experience, there a tough team, a grind it out team, physical team.  They like to make the game ugly so we got to be prepared for that.

Kyrie says a gold medal is as good as a championship, do you believe that?
I believe so.  That’s on the world stage.  You’re playing against the rest of the world.

Jimmy Butler
Thoughts on the game?
Venezuela is a very good team.  They got us in foul trouble early, both teams did.  I think we picked it up in the second quarter, guarding without fouling which is very important.  We made a few shots.  We made it easy on ourselves.  I’m just happy we got the win.

What was the message from the coaches when you were struggling early and what happened in this game that you can apply in tougher games coming up, especially Australia?
Basically the first thing we talked about was guard without fouling.  We used our hands a little bit too much, bailing them out on a lot of their baskets.  We just have to get off to a better, faster start which we know.  We can’t dig ourselves a hold.  When we pick it up, we’re really hard to match up with.  The way we play defense, if we guard like that for 40 straight minutes, we’ll be in a great position to win.

Can you explain the choice to live on a boat and do you miss part of the Olympic experience?
I just do what I’m told.  I’m told to sleep on a boat so I sleep on a boat.

DeMar DeRozan
Have you been watching the other games?
No, we’ve been keeping up. We haven’t physically had the chance to watch, but we’ve definitely be keeping up.

On the strength of the USA team:
We’ve got some of the best players in the world on one team and when we all come together, when we get to really going and we get to pulling apart like we did in the second half, we’re tough to beat.

On coach Tom Thibodeau always being vocal:
We love it. Even when you play against him in the NBA, you hear him calling out the other team’s plays, sets. You got to love it when your coach is on you, even when you’re up. It’s motivation for us to be great.

Kevin Durant
On the slow start:
We got into our groove a little slower than we did in the first game. But, we go through adversity no matter what on the court. Those guys attacked us early, got us in foul trouble, and it slowed the game down. But after the first quarter we got in our groove.

On playing Australia:
It’s going to be a grind-out game. We’re looking forward to it.

Have you seen them play yet?
No, I haven’t seen a game yet, but I know most of their players. Their main players play in our league. I know they play with a little bit more confidence. They play differently, have differently, have different roles here. But we’ll prepare for them tomorrow. We’ll see what we’ve got.

Did you learn anything from tonight?
You can’t foul. We have to stop using our hands so much and just play solid. I think our defense was amazing. They didn’t make shots on us, we just put them on the free throw line. After that first quarter it died down a bit and we were able to … they felt our length and athleticism, and we were able to get out there and score.

What are the strengths of this team?
Defensively, we have the ability to guard every position. From every player can guard every position. So, just having that luxury is just unique. But then we have scorers. You saw that tonight, Paul (George) got hot. Melo (Anthony) got hot. Kyrie (Irving), so we have so many scorer who can get hot. But defensively we’re all doing it together.

Paul George
On the second quarter spark:
I thought Melo, KD, Kyrie did a good job offensively in getting us in our rhythm. We got some great stops. Really, what changed this game was the steal by Melo, Kyrie came down and kicked it out for a 3. That really ignited us on the bench. That ignited Melo, it ignited that group out there on the court. That was really the turn of events in this game.

How are you finding your spots on offense?
I’m not the focus. It’s easy when you’ve got five guys out there who’s a threat, or four guys out there that’s a threat when I’m out there with them. The game is just easy. It’s easy to get into a rhythm when you don’t have to work for a shot.

Have you had a chance to talk with the French gymnast?
Not yet. Hopefully in the coming days. I’m not sure what his status is. I don’t know if he got discharged from the hospital or not. But at some point I’m going to go over there and have a chat with him, sit down with him, try to be an inspiration to him. I know what it’s like going through it. Hopefully any words I can give is useful for him.

It would be an easy story to tell. I came back stronger and better for it. For his case, hopefully he’s more athletic and it’s a story that, as well as mine, can inspire as well. It’s all about encouragement, keeping his head into it. I know for him it’s tough, an Olympian, a gymnast, their window is just as small as ours. He’s probably been training his whole life for this opportunity. I will definitely be in his corner for him.

Draymond Green
On the physical inside play:
The first day we didn’t really have to guard the post, you didn’t see it. So, it’s good to face that challenge. You learn those rules and you can get better at them.

Excited about playing against Andrew Bogut on Wednesday?
It’s definitely great seeing him. I actually saw him today. It was the first time seeing him since the end of the season. But I’m definitely looking forward to the game. It’s going to be a tough game. They’re playing well. So, I’m looking forward to it for sure. Bogut, we spent four years together, so it’s definitely exciting getting ready to play each other.

Bogut helped set the tone for the culture change four years ago with the Warriors. He’s sort of done that with Australia. What’s he like as a leader?
He’s been a staple for (his) country. For their basketball coming up. He’s one of the first guys to really bring that along. Now you have Joe Ingles, I’m not sure if (Aron) Baynes is playing or not, you got Patty (Mills), so he’s done a lot. But he’s done a lot for their country as far as basketball goes.

DeAndre Jordan
On the USA’s defense:
Our defense is going to carry us through this tournament. We’ve got a lot of versatile guys who can guard a lot of different positions and we’ve got a lot of scorers. First of all we have to focus on our defense and then our scoring will come.

On the international ball being different from the NBA ball:
It’s obviously a lot different. But that’s no excuse. There are tons of teams that have to play with it. Everybody has to get used to it. It doesn’t make a difference. We got to come out, it’s still a basketball, so we got to come out and continue to play.

Were you surprised that it was close early on?
All I care about is right now. Winning the basketball game. There’s going to be games where teams win by a lot. There’s going to be games where teams win by five or less. At the end of the day it’s all about getting the win.

Kyle Lowry
On playing Australia on Wednesday:
They’re NBA players, they come off pick-and-rolls aggressively. Patty (Mills) is one of the better shooters in our league and (Matt) Dellavedova can shoot the ball. But we just have to worry about our game and play our defense and go from there.

Australia is physical, but you got a taste of that tonight:
We’ll be fine. We’ll be able to adjust every game to every style of play. That’s why we have the group of guys that we have.

On Carmelo Anthony’s leadership:
He’s been vocal. He’s been pushing us to be better every game, he continues to grow and take it one day at a time. So, he’s done a great job of being an unbelievable vocal leader and showing by example.

 

 

Can a sluggish start help you refocus?
It’s not like we weren’t ready to play.  We just fouled so it becomes disruptive and then they’re playing good defense and then you don’t hit some shots, it becomes a different game.  And that’s good for us overall.  To see how we would respond.  Thank goodness that our defense stayed in there.  They were great from the foul line, we were to.  We didn’t put them on the foul line in the second quarter.  This team, even when we haven’t played well offensively for periods, we’ve always done a good job defensively so that’s a great sign.

Was some of the foul difficulty adjusting to some of the international rules and having to guard more in the post?
I think one of the things is they have a big body in Echenique.  It’s like a continuous dribble down there.  He keeps banging on you and then he can pass from there.  It’s actually good offense from their coaching staff.  What we have to learn to do is not just adjust to hands and that, play on top of them.  Try not to let him get the ball.  We haven’t had to do that yet.  So tonight that gave us some good experience playing against a big guy like that.  We’re going to be playing against tall guys but I’m not sure we’re going to be playing against anybody … although Baynes from Australia is pretty big like that.  He was a good player.  It’s tough to get around that guy down there.

How do you think DeMarcus back from tonight because obviously he had a tough whistle?
He has to bounce back great.  You don’t have an alternative on how you play in every game and he will.  He’ll be really good.  Australia, we’ll now watch them really close.  I’ve seen them for periods of their first two games.  They played great.  They haven’t turned the ball over.  Baynes has been terrific for them in the low post and you have two of the better passes in the tournament in Dellevadova and Bogut.  They’ve really passed the ball well.  They probably have about 35 assists between them in two games and maybe four or five turnovers.  That’s pretty good handling of the ball.  It will a different type of team to play against and they’ll start five NBA players.

Can you explain the choice to live on a boat and do you miss part of the Olympic experience?
Well we don’t live on a boat; we’re staying on a boat.  I actually live in Durham, North Carolina and have a swimming pool.  And once in a while I get on a raft and lie in there.  But I never really thought about living on a boat.  Since 1992, the USA teams have stayed in different locations and because of the accommodations here, that was good.  It’s not our boat.  We’re not the only people on the boat.  There are other people on the boat that we see.  We say “Good Morning” to, “Hello”.  We’ve actually made friends on the boat.  I never knew I would have boat friends.  In fact, now that I’m talking about, I might go buy a boat and put it in my … I’d have to have a bigger swimming pool.  It’s a place to stay and we’re here to play basketball.  I’ll tell you what:  the people in Rio have been unbelievable as far as their treatment of us and their hospitality.  We’re fortunate to be here for the Olympics, whether we’re on a boat or not.

Did you see any elements in that first quarter that might give Australia hope for an upset?
Well, I’m sure Australia sees a lot of things that they can do against us because they’re really good.  Australian basketball is terrific.  One of my closest friends in sport is Patrick Hunt.  I’ve known him for almost 30 years.  The basketball in Australia is fantastic.  So they can beat us.  We know that and we’ll prepare accordingly.  I don’t they’ve gone back to their boat or home or apartment, wherever they’re staying and thinking that they can’t beat us.  We know that they feel like they can beat us and we understand that.  I think it will be a really good game.

Carmelo Anthony
Slow start and then you had a great defensive play to get the guys going a bit?
We kind of knew they were going to slow the game up … change the pace of the game.  We knew that they didn’t want to play an up temp style game.  We wasn’t expecting it to be like that.   I think once we settled down and made our adjustments to the way that they was calling the game, to the way that Venezuela wanted to play.  In that second quarter, we picked it up defensively and turned things around.

Can you talk about the sequence where you got the steal and then hit the 3?
We was looking for kind of a flow of the game, especially they slowed the game up.  They wanted us to play in half court.  They held it to the end of the shot clock every time, made us defend the whole shot clock.  Once we got defensively settled in, we was ok.

Is everything under control on your way to the gold medal?
So far, so good.  We still got a couple more games.  We know Australia is going to be a tough one for us just from how physical they are, how they like to play.  We’ll be ready for that one.

What were the fans saying to you at the end?
It was just partying.  There is always a party in Rio.

How worried were you after a quarter?
We wasn’t worried.  We just had to kind of making some adjustments.  They changed the pace of the game, something that they did back when we played them in the US but it was a different pace of the game that they played with tonight.  They kept us in half court.  We didn’t get out in transition.  We missed some shots early, played their game.  But, once we made those adjustments, we were good.

Are you enjoying this leadership role that you’ve taken on here?
I mean it’s come natural to me.  It’s something that’s genuine.  Something that I’ve always done.  And just leading this team is easy when you have guys on your team who are willing to listen, great players on this team.  You tell them something once, you advise them once, great players pick it up quicker.

On passing Michael Jordan on the USA Basketball Olympic scoring list?
Anytime you can break a record or make history or pass somebody like Michael Jordan … We still have more games to go so hopefully we can break more records.

How is Australia different from what you have seen so far?
They’re tough.  I haven’t seen them play yet in their first two matches.  But, from what I’ve known in previous experience, there a tough team, a grind it out team, physical team.  They like to make the game ugly so we got to be prepared for that.

Kyrie says a gold medal is as good as a championship, do you believe that?
I believe so.  That’s on the world stage.  You’re playing against the rest of the world.

Jimmy Butler
Thoughts on the game?
Venezuela is a very good team.  They got us in foul trouble early, both teams did.  I think we picked it up in the second quarter, guarding without fouling which is very important.  We made a few shots.  We made it easy on ourselves.  I’m just happy we got the win.

What was the message from the coaches when you were struggling early and what happened in this game that you can apply in tougher games coming up, especially Australia?
Basically the first thing we talked about was guard without fouling.  We used our hands a little bit too much, bailing them out on a lot of their baskets.  We just have to get off to a better, faster start which we know.  We can’t dig ourselves a hold.  When we pick it up, we’re really hard to match up with.  The way we play defense, if we guard like that for 40 straight minutes, we’ll be in a great position to win.

Can you explain the choice to live on a boat and do you miss part of the Olympic experience?
I just do what I’m told.  I’m told to sleep on a boat so I sleep on a boat.

DeMar DeRozan
Have you been watching the other games?
No, we’ve been keeping up. We haven’t physically had the chance to watch, but we’ve definitely be keeping up.

On the strength of the USA team:
We’ve got some of the best players in the world on one team and when we all come together, when we get to really going and we get to pulling apart like we did in the second half, we’re tough to beat.

On coach Tom Thibodeau always being vocal:
We love it. Even when you play against him in the NBA, you hear him calling out the other team’s plays, sets. You got to love it when your coach is on you, even when you’re up. It’s motivation for us to be great.

Kevin Durant
On the slow start:
We got into our groove a little slower than we did in the first game. But, we go through adversity no matter what on the court. Those guys attacked us early, got us in foul trouble, and it slowed the game down. But after the first quarter we got in our groove.

On playing Australia:
It’s going to be a grind-out game. We’re looking forward to it.

Have you seen them play yet?
No, I haven’t seen a game yet, but I know most of their players. Their main players play in our league. I know they play with a little bit more confidence. They play differently, have differently, have different roles here. But we’ll prepare for them tomorrow. We’ll see what we’ve got.

Did you learn anything from tonight?
You can’t foul. We have to stop using our hands so much and just play solid. I think our defense was amazing. They didn’t make shots on us, we just put them on the free throw line. After that first quarter it died down a bit and we were able to … they felt our length and athleticism, and we were able to get out there and score.

What are the strengths of this team?
Defensively, we have the ability to guard every position. From every player can guard every position. So, just having that luxury is just unique. But then we have scorers. You saw that tonight, Paul (George) got hot. Melo (Anthony) got hot. Kyrie (Irving), so we have so many scorer who can get hot. But defensively we’re all doing it together.

Paul George
On the second quarter spark:
I thought Melo, KD, Kyrie did a good job offensively in getting us in our rhythm. We got some great stops. Really, what changed this game was the steal by Melo, Kyrie came down and kicked it out for a 3. That really ignited us on the bench. That ignited Melo, it ignited that group out there on the court. That was really the turn of events in this game.

How are you finding your spots on offense?
I’m not the focus. It’s easy when you’ve got five guys out there who’s a threat, or four guys out there that’s a threat when I’m out there with them. The game is just easy. It’s easy to get into a rhythm when you don’t have to work for a shot.

Have you had a chance to talk with the French gymnast?
Not yet. Hopefully in the coming days. I’m not sure what his status is. I don’t know if he got discharged from the hospital or not. But at some point I’m going to go over there and have a chat with him, sit down with him, try to be an inspiration to him. I know what it’s like going through it. Hopefully any words I can give is useful for him.

It would be an easy story to tell. I came back stronger and better for it. For his case, hopefully he’s more athletic and it’s a story that, as well as mine, can inspire as well. It’s all about encouragement, keeping his head into it. I know for him it’s tough, an Olympian, a gymnast, their window is just as small as ours. He’s probably been training his whole life for this opportunity. I will definitely be in his corner for him.

Draymond Green
On the physical inside play:
The first day we didn’t really have to guard the post, you didn’t see it. So, it’s good to face that challenge. You learn those rules and you can get better at them.

Excited about playing against Andrew Bogut on Wednesday?
It’s definitely great seeing him. I actually saw him today. It was the first time seeing him since the end of the season. But I’m definitely looking forward to the game. It’s going to be a tough game. They’re playing well. So, I’m looking forward to it for sure. Bogut, we spent four years together, so it’s definitely exciting getting ready to play each other.

Bogut helped set the tone for the culture change four years ago with the Warriors. He’s sort of done that with Australia. What’s he like as a leader?
He’s been a staple for (his) country. For their basketball coming up. He’s one of the first guys to really bring that along. Now you have Joe Ingles, I’m not sure if (Aron) Baynes is playing or not, you got Patty (Mills), so he’s done a lot. But he’s done a lot for their country as far as basketball goes.

DeAndre Jordan
On the USA’s defense:
Our defense is going to carry us through this tournament. We’ve got a lot of versatile guys who can guard a lot of different positions and we’ve got a lot of scorers. First of all we have to focus on our defense and then our scoring will come.

On the international ball being different from the NBA ball:
It’s obviously a lot different. But that’s no excuse. There are tons of teams that have to play with it. Everybody has to get used to it. It doesn’t make a difference. We got to come out, it’s still a basketball, so we got to come out and continue to play.

Were you surprised that it was close early on?
All I care about is right now. Winning the basketball game. There’s going to be games where teams win by a lot. There’s going to be games where teams win by five or less. At the end of the day it’s all about getting the win.

Kyle Lowry
On playing Australia on Wednesday:
They’re NBA players, they come off pick-and-rolls aggressively. Patty (Mills) is one of the better shooters in our league and (Matt) Dellavedova can shoot the ball. But we just have to worry about our game and play our defense and go from there.

Australia is physical, but you got a taste of that tonight:
We’ll be fine. We’ll be able to adjust every game to every style of play. That’s why we have the group of guys that we have.

On Carmelo Anthony’s leadership:
He’s been vocal. He’s been pushing us to be better every game, he continues to grow and take it one day at a time. So, he’s done a great job of being an unbelievable vocal leader and showing by example.

 

 

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