Quote Board >> USA Men's National Team Training
New York, N.Y. • Aug. 10, 2010
USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University)
About Danny Grangerís finger injury:
He hit his finger on the rim and dislocated his finger. He said he put it right back and he said heíll be alright.† But weíll see, you always want to see the next day what happens.
Howís New York greeted you?
Well we just got here. I think itís real good. I think itís good for the World Championship that weíre doing this in New York, for other countries to come here and to celebrate the game. For us, today was a good day.† We had a really good practice day today.† We just have to keep moving on.
How about the tune-up game at the Garden Sunday against France:
That will be really important for us.† We leave for Madrid on Monday so to get some flavor of playing against an international team in a game, thatís what the exhibitions are set up for. But to play France who is one of the better teams that will be very good. Weíll still run it a little bit more like a scrimmage, weíre trying to see everybody, but itís a great tune-up for us.
What about the pros and cons of practicing in New York:
I think New York is a really good place to practice. Itís a great city, it loves basketball and weíre able to promote the game while weíre here.† Todayís practice was a great practice and it was in New York.† The facility here is good; on Friday weíll be at the Knicksí facility, then on Saturday and Sunday weíll be at the Garden.† I didnít think weíd have a practice at Radio City Music Hall, or a scrimmage there, but weíre going to do that too and that will be very interesting. We love New York, we love New York basketball and I think the guys on the team are charged up being here.
How are you with regards to being where you need to be?
Well weíre starting to push now.† You canít have these guys for a month and a half before you have the World Championship so you have to condense things.† Having the select team here for four days helps us because while weíre doing one thing some other guys are doing another and weíve been able to get a lot out of the practice sessions here.
What about the USA Select Team being here and training against the team?
To have them come here is great for us.† Itís an unbelievable opportunity for them, itís good for USA Basketball to do it that way.† Weíre playing against outstanding competition.† The kid from Butler, (Shelvin) †Mack, has played great in Vegas and here and heís never going to play against that level of competition anywhere else.† So you get better.† If you have the best to be brought out of you, the best will bring it out of you.
After two weeks of not seeing JaVale (McGee) and now seeing him, whatís it going to take for him to make this team?
There are about five guys for two spots and Iím not going to go through who they are because that can switch around.† Itís basically how you fit in with the other group. Itís not about you being better than one other guy, itís about the makeup of a team.† Thank goodness we had all these guys come back.† We may travel with more than 12 because we donít have to make a final decision until we get to Turkey.†
JaValeís done a really good job and heís obviously a unique guy.† The only other guy like him on the team is Tyson (Chandler), so when youíre making a decision what youíve got figure out is that where you make the decision or is it in some other area. †Heís playing well enough that he makes you make a decision and thank goodness heís here.
Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets)
How did practice go today?
It was good to get back together, re-familiarize yourself with the team. It's good to have these good young guys here, pushing us every day and going extremely hard and just helping us out. I thought the scrimmage was pretty good; not all the way good. We had some lapses out there. But, for the most part, I thought it was a good day.
How important is Sunday's game as a tune-up?
It's good, because it gives us a chance to go against some really good competition. France has some really, really good players. We'll be on our home soil, which will be the last time we'll be able to do that during this stretch, but it gives us a chance to play against a good team.
Youíre one of the veterans in this team. How do you view your roll?
Just doing what I've always done. Being a leader. Get out there and play hard, and show these guys how it should be done. Just lead and try to bring these guys together for something special: something that hasn't been done in a long time, winning a World Championship.
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
The team hasn't been together since Vegas. Does it take a while to mesh?
I think we played well as a team against the college guys. Trying to get some chemistry back and really work on what Coach K is trying to put in our system. I think it was a good first day. That's why we have a couple of practices before we have to play, shake the cobwebs out, get some repetitions and then go out and play well.
How important is Sunday's exhibition for this team?
It's definitely important. That's a team that we'll play in the World Championship, and to play against a team other than ourselves and be put in a situation that will simulate what we'll have to do overseas. Just to get into a game atmosphere against another team and compete, I think that will definitely be good for us.
Does it make it more special to play this game in New York at Madison Square Garden?
Anytime you play in the garden there is always a different vibe about it. For us, it being our first game against another team, that will just be all the motivation and energy we need. But anytime you play at MSG, you have a different perspective.
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Has this team come together the way you'd like to see it some together?
Yes, we are. Guys love playing with other. We love going out there and play hard. Nobody has an ego here; we're all trying to sacrifice and trying to win. That's great to be a part of. I think we're coming along very well. We still have a long way to go, but I think we'll get there.
Have you reached the point where you start thinking about the teams you are going to be playing?
I've been thinking about everybody -- France, Brazil, Spain, Croatia, Tunisia -- trying to do a little research on who was on their team and how they play. It's going to be fun. It's going to be a little different as far as scouting reports. But I'm all about learning new stuff and I'm sure I'll learn a lot here.
Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers)
How was it today, getting back on the court with the USA team?
Itís good. Theyíre gonna cut it down just a little bit more, but itís just good to be out here. You get to show yourself against each other and against other teams starting on Sunday. Itís been a good experience.
Do you think the team is starting to take shape a little bit more?
Definitely. I think we need to because instead of going up against each other all the time, we need to go against other people, start running offenses and build ourselves more as a team.
How much does having the USA Select Team out here working with you?
It means a lot. They probably play just as good as those other teams, they play well together and thatís what we need.
What is Coach Kís coaching philosophy?
The main thing he tells us about is defense and to hit open shots, those are the main things. We just need to keep on contributing to that and itíll all work out well in the end.
How do you fit into his system?
I think I fit into it pretty good. My role is to play good defense, but mostly hit threes and make shots. That will be my main focus.
Andre Igoudola (Philadelphia 76ers)
How do you think practice went today?
Well, we are trying to pick up where we left off in Vegas. I think the young guys are doing a really good job of pushing us; they are making us work hard. As long as we continue to get reps with each other and continue to focus in and get good quality practice time, it will work out for us.
What are you looking for from Sunday's exhibition with France?
Just continue to get comfortable with each other. We all know we can make plays; I think we are playing unselfish basketball -- we just have to continue to do that. And defensively, we have to do a better job of communicating.
How tough is to come together as a team when youíre playing against each other for a full basketball season?
It's not that bad. It's basketball and I think that's what we want to prove anytime we step on the court against another country: The NBA is the best basketball league in the world and we compete against each other a lot, but we're still able to come together and sacrifice for one common goal and that's to win a gold medal.
JaVale McGee (Washington Wizards)
After attending the Las Vegas training camp, you were a late addition to this camp after Brook Lopez pulled out. Do you feel as if youíve been given a second chance?
Definitely I feel like Iíve been given another chance to prove myself once again.† I just feel that I should keep working hard, keep doing what Iím doing and prove that I deserve to be here.
Is there anything in particular you were working on during the break between the last camp and arriving in New York?
I was just trying to stay conditioned and trying to keep my mind defensively ready. I wanted to be ready to clog up the paint.
How do you think the team looked today after the two week break?
Surprisingly everybody was really fluid today. We werenít making a lot of shots, but we were all passing the ball around, acting like we were all playing together for those two weeks that we were apart.
How much would it mean for you to make this team and to be able to compete for a gold medal?
It would mean a lot to me. Mainly because my mother did it (at the 1984 Olympic Games) and my little sister just did it at the U17 (World Championship), so it would really, really mean a lot.