Kidd, Chandler leaving imprints on Team USA
While newly acquired Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler sweats it out in an attempt to wear the red, white and blue, point guard Jason Kidd is sharing his basketball IQ with his younger understudies.
Chandler is attempting to represent his country for a second time, competing in Las Vegas for a roster spot on the 2010-12 USA Basketball Men's National Team during the squad's training camp which runs through July 24. With New York Knicks big man Amar'e Stoudemire and Phoenix Suns center Robin Lopez withdrawing from the team, it appears that Chandler is becoming a shoo-in at one of Team USA's post positions.
"A couple of years ago when I did it, it was one of the most exciting moments of my career -- just to be out there with those guys and compete everyday in practice," Chandler, who was on the team in 2007, said of the experience. "It will be good because it will be the best of the best out there. It's an incredible opportunity. Whenever you can explain to your kids that you played for the USA team, it's a wonderful achievement."
But the 7-footer was not expecting to see his new teammate and two-time gold medal-winning point guard at camp. Though Kidd isn't lacing 'em up, he is still dishing out assists through his advice to the NBA's up-and-coming guards.
Sporting a head full of hair and a summertime beard, Kidd acted as a mentor Tuesday for the likes of Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry. Fittingly, his advice was to just be a vocal leader, like Kidd has proven to be in Dallas.
"Communicate to your teammates," Kidd told NBA TV was his message to the younger lead guards. "They're all 20-something years old, but you can never learn early enough how to talk. And this is a great opportunity for those guys."
The future Hall of Famer might also have coaching aspirations down the road, joining the camp at coach Mike Krzyzewski's invitation and sitting in on the roundtable coaching discussions.
"I'm honored Coach K invited me here. I've just been sitting in on some of the coaches' meetings, just to see the other side and see how bad they talked about us -- what we didn't do in practice. But, it's a great experience again to see the other side, but also to talk to the younger guys and tell them, 'Hey, don't be afraid to communicate and talk to your teammates. This is your family, this is your team until September and this is a way to get better.'"
Well said, Coach Kidd.
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