U.S. Olympic basketball team hopes for third straight gold

CCTV News

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The men’s Olympic basketball tournament begins Saturday with defending champions, the United States, battling China. Much of the attention for the American squad is on those absent: Steph Curry, and LeBron James decided to skip the Games.

CCTV’s Dan Williams reports.

U.S. Olympic basketball team hopes for third straight gold

U.S. Olympic basketball team hopes for third straight gold

The men's Olympic basketball tournament begins Saturday with defending champions, the United States, battling China. Much of the attention for the American squad is on those absent: Steph Curry, and LeBron James decided to skip the Games.

Despite what NBA all star players might be missing, the athletes in Rio are determined to show the world that the U.S. team means business in winning a third straight gold medal.

Even so some have called them the “less-than-dreamy team.”

“It is going to really challenging either way. It would be challenging if they were here. But we got some great players here. Just because they have not been here before or they might not be MVPs, or ten time all stars. But we got some damn good players on this team,” U.S. team Forward Kevin Durant said.

The U.S. and Chinese teams know each other well, having faced each other twice in recent warm-up matches. Although the U.S. team won both, the players know they cannot take the match lightly.

“They played their tails off against us and they made us better. And I know it is going to be even different here. This is the real thing so these guys want to beat us. Everyone wants to beat us. And they want to be that team-the first team I guess in ten years to beat us,” Durant added.

Other players believe the match is important for other reasons.

“We want to win. We want to win and send a message to the rest of the world that we are here about business. We are focused on winning. That’s what we care about and we don’t want nothing to come in between that,” U.S. team Forward Carmelo Anthony said.