LONDON, July 27 (RIA Novosti)
LeBron James says the U.S. Olympic basketball team can find the necessary cohesion to take the gold in London.
The Miami Heat superstar, in the British capital for his second Olympics, tries to lead Team USA to its second-successive gold medal in competition starting Sunday.
Asked how he would cope with the huge expectations, the 27-year-old small forward answered he was confident he could help deliver the top prize.
"That's our challenge, that's our goal, to win a gold medal, and you know it's going to take a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, but we have an opportunity to do that," James said Friday, the day of the Olympic opening ceremony.
And, he insists, the U.S. is more than a group of individual stars, who include Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant in their ranks.
"We are a team, and that's why we're here."
These Games mark 20 years since Michael Jordon and Scottie Pippen led the U.S. dream team to gold in Barcelona, but James would not be drawn on possible parallels with his generation.
"We don't compare our team to anyone. We are our own team, we make our own identity, we go out there and we try to play as a team," he said.
The U.S. begins its Group A campaign Sunday against France, before going on to face Tunisia, Nigeria, Lithuania, Argentina.
James refused to name the nation that might provide the stiffest opposition.
"We don't know, there's a lot of great teams out there. We just want to put ourselves in the position where we can compete each and every night, and win. And that's our goal."
What was James looking forward to the most in London?
"Just the opportunity to represent my country at the highest level, I'm hoping to be here right to the end and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Perhaps most importantly for the team's chances, James claims not to prioritize domestic competition over international.
"I don't agree. I think both are high on my standards, and, you know, I love playing in the NBA and I love playing for my country."
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