USA Basketball Men’s National Team is looking to capture the gold medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics so its time for practice. Team USA basketball’s minicamp is underway and two of the leagues best players who are also coming off of injury will practice. Carmelo Anthony (knee) and Kevin Durant (foot) will suit up and practice with their USA basketball teammates.
According to usab.com,
There will be a noticeably different pace to the proceedings as the USA Men’s National Team descends on Las Vegas for a three-day minicamp.
A little more than a year ago, a roster that would win gold in the FIBA Basketball World Cup was forged inside the walls at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center. This week 34 of the country’s best players will gather under the same roof, but with the Rio Olympic Games still a year away the practices this time around won’t be nearly as intense.
“If we had competition we had to prepare for it would be a different story,” said USA Basketball Chairman and National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo.
“We want to spend more time with the players celebrating our journey and keeping things in perspective as we move forward.”
That perspective goes back a decade to when Colangelo took over and brought in many others, including coach Mike Krzyzewski, with the charge of returning USA Basketball to the unquestioned top.
“We set out to create a new culture and create a situation where players once again were proud to represent their country,” Colangelo said. “We also had to win back the respect of the world basketball community.”
Evidence of the first goal’s success is in this week’s roster, which can be seen Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET on NBA TV’s NBA Real Training Camp: USA Basketball Presented by Jeep or Thursday at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 for the USA Blue versus USA White exhibition game at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Some of the players, like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, have been around just as long, if not longer, than Colangelo and Krzyzewski. Others like Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving are in the process of taking over the reins and camp will also feature players like Jimmy Butler, Mike Conley and Victor Oladipo who have experience and plenty of talent.
Not everyone on the roster will be able to participate in camp. Some are injured or trying to recover, but they all wanted to come and be a part of the group. Part of that is recognizing the honor of being one of so few men selected and seeing the benefit of being around so many players of similar or even greater ability.
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