Remember a few years ago, how players were blowing off the Olympic team as extra work, extra travel, a bore and a waste of time? No doubt recapturing gold was tremendously satisfying, but the complete change in attitude among elite players is phenomenal. Consider:
- Derrick Rose: âIâll do anything they want me to, dive. Whatever they want, Iâm willing to do to be on the team.â
- O.J. Mayo :âWhatever it takes. Iâm trying to get a job, man. Iâll dive on the floor, wipe the sweat off the floor, whatever I got to do. I have an open mind and Iâm willing to learn. To have an opportunity to wear USA across the jersey on your chest and compete with these guys and get better with them this week has been unique for all of us.â
- Kevin Durant: âOnce Mr. Colangelo took over and kind of told the whole country what he wanted in the team, everyone jumped on board. Kobe Bryant didnât have to play. Jason Kidd, he didnât have to play. Those guys wanted to come back. Thatâs when you knew it was for real. I was just excited to come here and practice with USA Basketball, never mind playing with them.â
This is a 180 from when the Olympic committee had to settle for the third and fourth tier stars.
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