Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng says Great Britain’s basketballers must leave their egos at the door when they get down to work at the team’s pre-Olympic training camp in Houston today.
With just six weeks to prepare for London, Chris Finch’s squad will spend 17 days in Texas, including friendlies against Lithuania, Russia and Nigeria, before returning to Europe for a further eight warm-up games.
Deng, who made his first NBA All Star appearance this season, admits building on their existing team chemistry will be key.
“You could take the best players in the world and have everyone shoot all the time, but that never works,” he said. “We have guys who won’t let that happen. We’re growing as a team every summer. Guys are knowing their roles better. Plus having Pops Mensah-Bonsu back will help.”
The camp will be held at the training venue of the Houston Rockets where Finch has spent the past season as an assistant. And Deng believes the former Sheffield Sharks playcaller, who has been in charge of GB since the team’s new incarnation in 2006, can bring old and new faces together.
“Finch is a good coach,” he said. “He really knows his X and Os. He coached in Europe. Now in the NBA. He did the D-League. The experience is there. He’s constantly in practice helping those young guys to become better players.
But you know the best thing about Finch is that we sat down and thought about what plays I like, how can we fit in all the guys, and what system we should run. I respect that a lot. “
Main pic: Mansoor Ahmed
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