Chris Paul Olympics interview
On the morning of August 10, the first day Olympic basketball, Team USA beat China 101-70. Although the USA won big, they started slowly, and in the opinion of InsideHoops.com their halfcourt offensive execution was extremely unimpressive. But their athletic superiority was clear. Here's what point guard Chris Paul said after the game:
Question: Talk about the team concept, everyone sharing the ball and playing together.
Chris Paul: Itís not about one guy. Itís about us winning games one game at a time.
Question: Describe the atmosphere in the arena.
Chris Paul: Itís crazy. This is bigger than a playoff game. This is two countries playing against each other. The best of the best. All the anticipation leading up to the game Ö this is three years coming. It gets you ready to play. When the jump ball came there were a lot of emotions going through our heads. For the first couple minutes we were playing off emotions, but then we settled down and got going.
Question: Talk in general about how the game went.
Chris Paul: I think we did very well. Of course we were running off of adrenaline and emotions to start the game off. But once we settled down we played our game. I think everyone expects us to come out and go up 10-0, 15-2, but whatís going to happen is that in the second, third, fourth quarter hopefully we can impose our will and wear the other teams down.
Question: Does it look like Yao Ming is still working his way back from his injury?
Chris Paul: I think so. This is a different game. This is international ball, itís totally different from Yao playing with the Rockets. But Yao is Yao. Heís always going to be a dominant force and we tried to do a good job of containing him tonight. But no way is he where heís going to be later in the season. Heís still working his way back.
Question: What did you think of Yao hitting that 3-pointer to start the game?
Chris Paul: It was the perfect storyline. Look at it: all the anticipation building up to the game, we turn it over, boom! Yao hits the first shot of the game, 3-nothing. I sat there like, man! I wonít ever forget that. But then we woke up and came back.
Question: Was the crowd a little more hostile since you were playing China?
Chris Paul: Itís always like that (as the visiting team), but China has done a great job of welcoming us and giving us great hospitality. At times we feel like weíre bigger here in China than we are in the United States and I think thatís a credit to ourselves, the NBA and everybody for how weíre treated when we come to China.
Question: Everyone expects Tuesday nightís game (against Angola) to be the easiest of them all. What kind of mentality do you have to have?
Chris Paul: We have to approach it just like this one. There are eight games. Eight games. Weíre 1-0 right now. We just have to take it one at a time and approach Angola like theyíre the best team here.