Team USA Prepares for London at the Nike World Basketball Festival | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Team USA Prepares for London at the Nike World Basketball Festival

July 18, 2012

Must See Basketball Videos

The return of the Nike World Basketball Festival to our nation's capitol last weekend paid ultimate homage to the game of basketball and its performance, lifestyle and culture. Washington D.C. marked the first stop for Nike, Converse, Jordan Brand and USA Basketball before the team heads abroad, first to Manchester, England, then to Barcelona, and ultimately on to London.

Members of the USA men’s and women’s national teams made numerous appearances throughout the weekend. James Harden and D.C. native Kevin Durant showed their support for the local street ball Goodman League in a game against Team Nike 1 from NYC at the recently Nike-refurbished Barry Farms outdoor court; the women’s team hosted a youth clinic; LeBron James, Diana Taurasi and newest U.S. Men’s team member Anthony Davis served as Dunk Contest judges; and finally, in honor of USA Basketball’s Hoops for Troops program, the men’s team held an open practice for U.S. military personnel and their families.

“Every day with USA Basketball is different, but today was different in a spectacular way,” remarked U.S. men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski after the men’s open practice. “I didn’t know how much we’d go up and down the court; I thought we might do a little bit more X’s and O’s, but the guys said, ‘Hey, let’s play, coach.’ We haven’t had a chance to play against each other in a practice except once, because we’ve only had 9 guys.”

After warming up and running through some ball movement drills, all 12 members of the team went 5-on-5 in a scrimmage—Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tyson Chandler, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony faced Russell Westbrook, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love, Deron Williams, James Harden, and Anthony Davis.

So now that they’ve gotten in some actual game experience, how is the squad strategizing for the Olympics? Coach K noted that many of the guys will be playing interchangeable positions to make up for the “lack of size” on the team, compensating for the loss of Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin with superior athleticism.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said,  “The key to success in London is finding a way to combine each and every one of our games; then we compete and defend.”  Westbrook reiterated how the team’s youth (under the tutelage of veteran Kobe Bryant) will provide an advantage.  “This group of guys can build upon the ’08 team,” he said. “All of us have developed those important leadership skills; we know what it takes to win." New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony added, “If scoring is a problem on this team, then something is wrong.”

LA Clippers point guard Chris Paul described the team’s collective preparation with just one word: "trust." With so many talents to choose from, “First and foremost it’s about trust," he said. "Learning to trust and hold the utmost confidence in your teammates.”

Even with the surplus of talent on the U.S. team, gearing up for the global stage of the 2012 Olympics will be a challenge. To finish off the weekend, on Monday night the Team USA women blew out Brazil by 32 points. The men also defeated Brazil, 80-69; however Brazil got off to a fast start and led by 10 points in the first half, before the guys regrouped and came back for the win. Still, Brazil outrebounded them 38-to-30.

There are still some kinks to smooth out and more work to be done. “Our toughest matchup is…everybody,” said point guard Deron Williams. “We know we have a target on our back, but we’ve got to be ready to accept all of those challenges.”

Check out photos from the weekend.

Kevin Durant Goodman League

Hoops for Troops

World Basketball Festival

Candace Parker


Team USA Warm-Ups

Coach K Team USA

Kobe Bryant Team USA

Lebron James and James Harden

KD and Harden

Nike Dunk Contest


Maddy Lucier
- As an associate editor for STACK, Maddy creates lifestyle, social media, gear and nutrition content for our audience of athletes. She played volleyball and basketball...
Maddy Lucier
- As an associate editor for STACK, Maddy creates lifestyle, social media, gear and nutrition content for our audience of athletes. She played volleyball and basketball...
Must See
Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 3,056,420
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,221,535
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,667,693

Featured Videos

Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall: A Day in the Life Views: 327,109
Path to the Pros 2015: Danny Shelton Views: 161,266
Learn to Hit Open Three-Pointers With Damian Lillard's Baseline Drift Drill Views: 228,843
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

How Greg Nixon Converts Strength to Speed
Views: 959,609
Corey White's Off-Season Guide to Making Plays
Views: 1,396,869
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,814,024
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,917,254
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,360,036

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Quick Review: Columbia Sportswear Turbodown Jacket

Nike Elite Collection: Wear It Like a Badge of Honor

WATCH: Kyrie Irving Runs the Floor in High School

I Ran the 40-Yard Dash at the NFL Combine and Sucked at It

Social Media Roundup: Don't Call J.J. Watt 'Bae'

WATCH: Never-Before-Seen J.J. Watt High School Highlight Reel

Beating the Elements: The 6 Worst Weather Games of All Time

WATCH: J.J. Watt's Insane 61-Inch Box Jump

WATCH: Tom Brady Bats Lefty, Practices Swing with Pedro Martinez

Social Media Roundup: Jameis Winston on a Jetpack

Meet Ricky Johnson, Red Bull Frozen Rush Champion

Is the Armpocket Truly 'The Ultimate' Armband? Find Out Here.

The 10 Best Fitness Fails of 2014

My 3-Mile Run With Kendrick Lamar

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

Stephen Curry's Long-Range Game: Does Anyone Come Close?

Social Media Roundup: Adam Jones Channels His Inner Prince Akeem

The 7 Most Epic Smack Talk Fails in Sports History

NHL All-Stars Drop In For a Game of Sledge Hockey

Cleveland Browns Release New Uniforms

Mythcrusher: Does a Fast 40-Yard Dash Predict NFL Success?

The Must-See Vines of the NCAA Tournament's Opening Rounds

WATCH: James Harden Dominates in High School

5 Superstars Who Spent Time on Awful Teams

Who the Heck Is Grayson Allen?

8 Pro Athletes Who Are Clearly Showing Off During Workouts

WATCH: Steph Curry Drains 77 Straight 3-Pointers in Practice

7 Insanely Drastic MLB Body Transformations

The 5 Most Embarrassing Plays in Sports