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U.S. dream team starts training camp


07-20-2016 15:16 BJT

United States men's basketball team started their training camp for next month's Rio Olympics in Las Vegas. Though some of the natio's top players have pulled out of the Games including NBA MVP Steph Curry of Golden State and Cleveland's LeBron James, they are still the favourites to capture the gold medal.

Two-time defending champions seek third straight basketball gold

United States men's basketball team started their training camp for next month's Rio Olympics in Las Vegas.

Two-time gold medalist Carmelo Anthony will become the first American player to appear in four Olympics, while Kevin Durant returns after winning gold at the 2012 London Games.

Also Rio-bound are Golden State's Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes; Toronto's Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan; Indiana's Paul George; Chicago's Jimmy Butler; Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins and the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan.

The US will play its first Olympic warm-up game against the 2004 gold medalists Argentina in Las Vegas on Friday. Plenty of star power still available for the Yanks and they will be expected to win a third straight Olympic title.

"Well the challenges are always the same and that is that we're expected to win. And so whoever we play against there's not the pressure on them, there's not like you have to do this," said Mike Krzyzewski, U.S. coach.

"And we have to make sure that we never play with that pressure that we have to do it, but rather that we play with the pressure of wanting to do great, and there's a significant difference in that. For the last four competitions we've been able to do that. Hopefully we'll be able to do that again."

"When you have a mutual respect for each other it's kind of easy to get together and bond, especially when you're competing against all these guys. So it's just a matter of you getting in front of them," said Kevin Durant, U.S. forward.

"And I've had guys that I didn't know in 2012 and they're my really good friends now. But just having that mutual respect. I think that's what makes the friendship come together a little easier." 

Foot problem rules Grizzlies All-Star out of showpiece event

Spain's men's basketball team have been dealt a huge blow in the form of Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol. The two-time NBA All-Star only completed 52 games last season after breaking his foot mid-way through the campaign.

The 31-year-old had been battling to regain full fitness but ran out of time in his bid to reach Rio. He had previously captured silver with the Spaniards in the 2008 Beijing Games and then again in London four years later.



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