WASHINGTON – LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and the rest of the US Olympic men’s basketball team put on a show Saturday at a training session open to military personnel and their families.
“Just being here in front of these guys, the troops and the military, you can’t put into words how that made us feel,” forward Carmelo Anthony said of the unusual event, which included dancers and dunking mascots and the other extra entertainments more often provided at NBA games.
“I never heard nobody cheer in practice before,” Anthony said. “Coach K usually don’t let nobody talk in practice, but I don’t know how he was going to control to this crowd today.”
Despite his no-nonsense approach to training, US coach Mike Krzyzewski was happy to go along for the ride. The Duke University coach played and coached at the US Military Academy and rose to the rank of captain before resigning from the Army in 1974.
“We understand it’s kind of — actually every day with USA Basketball is a little bit different,” said Krzyzewski, who guided the US team to gold in Beijing four years ago and will try to do the same in London.
“Not bad, but certainly different. But today was different in a very spectacular way. All of our guys were proud to be here.”
The US will revert to their normal training routine on Sunday, and play Brazil on Monday in an exhibition that is part of their warm-up process for the Games.
“It was fun, especially getting to play in front of the men and service women that protect our country,” said forward Kevin Love.