Eric Gordon Chats with Clippers.com
Clippers.com: What was your reaction when you found out you made the team?
Eric Gordon: Oh, man, I was just very happy. I told my parents and all of my family that I finally made the team. It was a good reaction for both me and my family.
Clippers.com: Was your family the first people that you talked to after making the team?
EG: They were definitely the first people I talked to. I had to let them know the good news and was ready to move on after that.
Clippers.com: With Team USA you have been in New York, Spain, Greece and now Turkey. Is there a place you have liked the most?
EG: That is a tough question. All of them have been good. Very different. I would say the more unique ones are Turkey and Greece because they look older and ancient. Between those two might be the best.
Clippers.com: You had a chance to see Athens while in Greece. What did you like most about Athens?
EG: A lot of things stood out. Most was probably their facilities where their Olympic athletes train. All of their facilities look very nice. It looks old on the outside but it is very nice on the inside like a new creation. They have a lot of different venues that were nice.
Clippers.com: How has it been playing in Spain against their national team and in Greece against their national team?
EG: It was difficult to play because it gets really loud in there. This is my first experience from an international-crowd standpoint. It gets crazy in there. Football and soccer [vuvuzelas] are used just the same in basketball arenas. Spain was probably the loudest that we have been through.
Clippers.com: How do European crowds compare to those in the NBA?
EG: It gets louder over here because people are representing their country. The US fans are great but they take it to another level over here.
Clippers.com: Does the environment at Assembly Hall (Indiana University’s home court) compare in loudness?
EG: Yes, I would say it gets just as loud at Assembly Hall. Back when I was in college, I would say it gets as loud as that.
Clippers.com: What do you think you have been doing in practice that impresses Coach K?
EG: I would just say doing the things I need to do. I take everything seriously like playing really good defense and making sure I make shots. I am not a guy who is starting so I just need to come off the bench and fire up some good shots and make my [playing] time meaningful.
Clippers.com: It seems like you have embraced the coming-off-the-bench role.
EG: In a way, yes. That is the number one thing. Whatever team you are on and they know what type of role that you need to [embrace]. And to make it happen on a nightly basis it can really help your confidence out. Whatever you need to do to help the team. What I have learned is that, even with the Clippers, I just know how to get things done in a short period of time.
Clippers.com: Have you adapted the way you play to the international game?
EG: Not really. It is just a kind of style that we play. We guard, we press the whole game man-to-man full court. We normally do that so that is the only difference because in the NBA game we like to play half court.
Clippers.com: Is the play more physical in international basketball?
EG: Yes, I was pretty surprised at how physical it can get. The refs let a lot of things go. It is definitely more physical.
Clippers.com: Does someone with your size benefit from international play?
EG: Yes. The European guys are not really big and physical; they are tall and [long]. That is why I would say the Americans have an advantage because we play just as physical and our size and weight help as well.
Clippers.com: Is there a particular teammate on Team USA that you’ve hung out with more while you’re traveling?
EG: There are so many: Rudy Gay, Lamar Odom, Stephen Curry. You get to know a lot more new guys and it’s good getting to know them even better.
Clippers.com: How’s the food been internationally?
EG: International food’s pretty good. There’s a little bit of different tastes. I would tell you overall, the food’s not been bad at all.
Clippers.com: Is this your first time overseas?
EG: I’ve been to China and Japan.
Clippers.com: What are you going to take from your time with Team USA to the Clippers this season?
EG: The hard work aspect. Every player on this team is really working hard and doing the things they need to do. It’s not just one player.
Clippers.com: How do the USA practices compare with those of the Clippers?
EG: I would say it has to be different. With Team USA, we’re with each other for a short period of time. The NBA season’s longer, the structure is different. You have to scout more during the NBA season.
Clippers.com: Here are some questions fans submitted through the Clippers Facebook page. Who or what inspired you to become a basketball player?
EG: Definitely my dad. He played collEGe basketball at Liberty.
Clippers.com: What are your thoughts on the rookies so far on the Clippers, specifically Eric Bledsoe?
EG: I think Bledsoe’s going to be a pretty good guard. I think all of the rookies will help out in some way.
Clippers.com: What are your expectations for the Clippers this season?
EG: Make it to the playoffs. I think we have the talent to do that. If we stay healthy throughout the year, that can happen.
Team USA plays its FIBA Opener on Saturday! Send more encouragement and comments for Eric Gordon on My Clipper Nation » and Facebook »
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