Still sporting smiles from their win over the summer in Beijing, Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd and Coach Mike Krzyzewski talked about Team USA's Gold medal win and the entire journey. It was really one of the best international basketball games I've ever watched, in more ways than one. I think that it's unfair to make the comparison between 2008 Redeem Team and 1992 Dream Team 1, simply because they had different makeup and the historical context was different. Watch and I'll post some more comments after,

I love Kobe's responses. He's really a one of a kind player. The guy that demands the ball at the end of the game. He's willing to put all the pressure on his shoulders. Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, those guys also demanded the ball in the crucial situations. I don't think Team USA wins gold if Kobe Bryant and Lebron James are not on the team.

Coach K was great too. I really do feel that coaching a group of "superstars" and managing a group of individuals who are all so successful in their own right, to play together as a unit is tougher than coaching a mediocre team to overachieve. Kobe says that Coach K was a great motivator and a great communicator. That's where human psychology becomes so important, even more important than any X's and O's. I also like what Coach K said about how they coached the 4th quarter of the Gold medal game. The score was close, but in those situations, just put the ball in your best players hands and let them win the game for you. Sounds cheesy, but it's like Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder, "Just let me drive Harry, I won't make a fool out of you."

Jerry Colangelo does deserve the most credit for sure. He really picked the players that fit the team chemistry. Sure, there were more talented players out there, but guys like Chris Bosh, Tayshaun Prince and Deron Williams really made a big difference team wise in my opinion.

If you can't get enough of Coach K, then you should check out Mike Krzyzewski's DVD on Individual Defensive Development. As always, please check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk hoops and exchange notes and ideas.