Team USA Report: Durant opens up on LeBron move
Jul 30, 2014 at 12:53a ET
Random quick hits on Day 2 of Team USA training camp Tuesday at UNLV:
1. Coaches and players agreed that the second day of camp was more intense than the first, which basically consisted of re-introductions, some sets and a few scrimmages. Such focus, clearly, is expected only to increase as the U.S. moves closer to the World Cup in Spain next month.
2. As U.S. assistant coach Monty Williams (Pelicans) said: "Today was one of those days where you let the dust settle and you see more of everybody's game."
3. One player making an impression: Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart, and he's not even really trying out for Team USA. Instead, the No. 6 overall pick in the June draft is a member of the Select Team -- which has been put together for the purpose of pushing national team candidates in practice. But Smart has more than held his own while playing with and against the likes of Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) and Derrick Rose (Bulls).
4. Bulls rookie forward Doug McDermott has also looked good as a member of the Select Team.
5. Scrimmages have more or less been a mish-mash of Team USA candidates against the Select Team. On Tuesday, second-year Magic guard Victor Oladipo buried a 3-pointer in the final seconds to give the Select Team a win over the White Team.
6. Meanwhile, plenty of attention continues to be placed on veteran guard Derrick Rose (Bulls), who joined camp after two major knee injuries. The reports on Rose remained good. "We're very, very pleased," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday.
7. Along with adjusting to international rules, it appears USA campers are still getting accustomed to the basketball bounced in FIBA competition. "The ball's a lot slicker," said center DeMarcus Cousins (Kings). "When your hands are wet, it comes right out. It's an adjustment. But once you get used to the ball, the game will get easier. As of right now, we've got to get used to the ball."
8. It's been several weeks since LeBron James announced his decision to leave the Heat for the Cavs -- but James' relocation remains a hot topic among the NBA's elite. Before getting down to business Monday, most of those trying out for Team USA talked LeBron. "That was pretty cool," reigning league MVP Kevin Durant (Thunder) said of James' announcement in an interview with ESPN.com. "It's funny seeing guys think about more than just basketball for once."
9. Durant continued: "He thought about the city where he comes from, about Northeast Ohio and how he can affect so many of the kids just being there playing basketball. I love that. So many guys get criticized for making the decision that's best for them, instead of what's best for everybody else. He's a guy that did that. You gotta respect that."
10. Durant said he texted LeBron after the decision. "As a fan of the game, it's going to be pretty cool to see him back in Cleveland," Durant said.
11. Clippers point guard Chris Paul and Kings forward Rudy Gay attended Tuesday's practice as spectators.
12. A few Cavs fans have emailed or sent notes on Twitter about Team Canada, and the Cavs' contingent that hails from the Great White North. Your answer: Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett and No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins are not on Team Canada's roster this summer. However, second-round pick Dwight Powell is a member of the team. Canada did not qualify for the World Cup, but leaves next month for a tour of exhibition games in Europe.
13. USA big man Anthony Davis on his chances of playing for the 2016 Olympic team: "I don't want to jinx myself. I don't want to say yes and then in 2016 I don't get that call. It's definitely an honor to be asked multiple times to play for Team USA. Hopefully I keep getting invited and I get a chance to represent."