WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good everyone? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been ridiculously hot out here in Las Vegas, where IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m training with USA Basketball for a spot on the National team thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to Turkey for the World Championships next month.
I know everyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s saying that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a lock to make the team but that hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stopped me from going all-out during practices and scrimmages. I just want to prove that I really belong.
Today is the third day of camp and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been a lot of fun so far. It was kind of like getting thrown into the fire a little bit, the coaching staff kind of testing us out and seeing where we were conditioning-wise. Some guys are in great shape and some guys are just getting their feet under them. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been working hard for this moment, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been feeling pretty good out there.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m just extra motivated to be able to represent the USA and help bring back the gold medal. We havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t won the FIBA World Championships since 1994! I was just a little kid then.
Some reporters have told me this week about just how close I was to making the 2008 Olympic team that won the gold medal in Beijing, and to be honest I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t realize how close I was to getting on that roster. I was just going out there playing hard and trying to learn as much as I could. Of course I wanted to be on that team. Who wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to win a gold medal? But it was still an honor to be a part of the Select Team that helped get the Redeem Team ready for the big show.
Even though we werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t there to win the gold medal, we felt like we helped those guys out and hopefully IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a part of a gold medal-winning team in the very near future.
One thing IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got on my side is experience with the National team. This is my fourth summer training with the USA Basketball program, so I know a little bit more about what they want me to do than some of the other guys. And IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a natural leader. I lead by example. If I see something I can help my teammates with, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll talk as well. I just want to go out there and be the best player I can be and just come out there and help everybody out, because I know theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll help me out as well.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also been pretty cool to have my teammates Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook in camp as well. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t describe how incredible it would be for all three of us to make the roster this summer. We also have our team trainer out here, Joe Sharpe, so the Thunder has been well represented. Not to mention that a bunch of our coaching staff and front office has stopped by through the week as well. We really appreciate that kind of support.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m hearing that LeBron and D-Wade are going to be in town this week. I already saw Chris Paul, so being able to catch up with those guys and hear what they have to say about representing USA in a big tournament will really mean something.
Well, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s it for now. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll try to put up another blog before FridayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s practice. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been getting so many different questions Ã¢â‚¬” and so many of the same questions Ã¢â‚¬” that I might have to share some stuff with you guys.
Take care y’all!
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