27 Jul
    10 Aug 2024

    Bam Adebayo fired up for second Olympic campaign

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    Bam driving to the basket against France in Tokyo 2020

    Bam is ready to chase his second gold medal.

    MIAMI (USA) - Bam Adebayo is fired up to play alongside living legends LeBron James and Steph Curry in the USA Olympic team.

    I'm excited to see how Steph does in his first Olympics

    For him, Steph and LeBron will be in USA Basketball starting five this summer. "To be honest, I don't even know how to pick that 5..." he said. "But it would be 'Bron, KD, Steph, you have to put Joel (Embiid) in there. Then, the fifth is the wild card. It really depends how those 4 would fit with the last person. But I can't give you that last person."

    Yet to be the best version of himself once the Games get underway, Adebayo said he has to flip the switch and be ultra competitive in practice against all of his American teammates.

    He won't be pulling any punches against James, Curry or anyone else.

    Bam Adebayo always showing effort for the USA

    "We're going to go at it," he said on the podcast Point Game with John Wall & C.J. Toledano.

    "That's what got us here, being competitive. At the end of the day, when we get in those practices, we going to go at it."

    Adebayo's name has always been among the first to come up when there was talk of this summer's Olympic team. That's because he was the fiercest of competitors for the USA three years ago, when they had to pull out all stops to beat France in the Gold Medal Game.

    He had three blocks and a steal to go with his team high six rebounds in that contest.

    "Let's be honest," he said. "I’m not on the Olympic team to go shoot 20 times.

    "I'm in there to be versatile. Switch, defend, make plays. That's what I'm there for."

    Versatility, he says, is a common trait for everyone in the team.

    "We've got a good mix of guys, we can all be put on different spots on the court," he said. "'Bron doesn't have to be the 3. In some lineups, he might even be the point. In some lineups, Stephen Curry might be the 2. You've got guys that don’t have to be put under a certain position."

    Another word that readily comes to mind for Adebayo when it comes to success is "sacrifice."

    Bam and KD

    "A lot of people sacrifice shots to get people that are genetically gifted to go get 30," Adebayo said. "We all know Kevin Durant is what he is. He's one of the best scorers if not the best to have walked through this league. So, as a person, you can't be selfish and go, 'Nah, Bro. I’m going to get my 15 shots.'

    "That was really an eye-opener for me in the first one (in Tokyo), being able to sit in that room and be honest and like, 'Listen, we all can't get our clips that we get in our regular teams. Somebody is going to have to sacrifice. You might have to be like, 'This ain't my job to score. I got to defend and rebound. I wasn't the top scorer but I led the team in rebounds. At that point, that’s when you find your niche."

    Another key is camaraderie, or togetherness.

    "I feel like we’ve got a great group of guys where we mesh well," Adebayo said.

    So what is it that Adebayo, 26, is looking forward to the most?

    "For me, I'm excited to see how Steph does," he said. "This is his first Olympics."

    Curry is a two-time FIBA Basketball World Cup winner and a four-time NBA champion. What is missing from his trophy cabinet is an Olympic medal.

    Overall, Adebayo elated just to be in the team again. It's the honor of a lifetime.

    "We've got 450 players in our league, so being able to be selected as the top 12 go represent your country, it's just a standard," he said. "It's one of those things you just embrace..."

    FIBA

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