I didn’t exactly scoff when Kevin Durant said 2014 Team USA was better than 2010 Team USA.
After all, 2014 Team USA had Kevin Durant.
Granted, the 2010 team also had Durant (and Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love and a healthy Derrick Rose). But Durant was younger and less dominant back then.
The 2014 team, though, doesn’t even have that Durant after he withdrew.
Time to lower expectations? Jerry Colangelo sure doesn’t think so.
But Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski and USAB chairman Jerry Colangelo are nonetheless convinced that the 2014 squad begins the tournament in better shape than the 2010 group that ultimately won that FIBA World Championship in Turkey without a single member from the gold-medal-winning 2008 Olympic team.
“By far,” Colangelo told ESPN.com. “Because we have a couple of Olympic gold medalists on this roster in Anthony Davis and James Harden. We have three players from that team in 2010 in Steph Curry, Derrick Rose and Rudy Gay. And they’re not 21 this time. They’re 23 or 24. A little bit older and more mature.
“We like our team. We really do.”
Colangelo doesn’t strike me as someone who would posture here, though I can’t put it past him. I really think he believes the team he assembled is that strong.
Winning gold is always the standard for Team USA, and this only further cements that as the goal. Not only that, Colangelo is setting the expectation the Americans will cruise through the competition.
Soon enough, we’ll see whether he’s right.