Donovan Mitchell has taken lead in getting team together for group dinners
Team USA starts their FIBA World Cup campaign in China, and the players making up the team have become close due to the experience. Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is one of the men responsible for bringing the team together.
The Athletic’s Joe Varden detailed how the team got together after Greg Popovich let one player choose the wine for the night. After the experiment, the guys began hanging out more often.
Joe Harris shared more about the relationship between the USA 12:
“We were just kind of hanging and getting to know each other, and it kind of spurred it from there,” Harris said after practice Friday in Shanghai, ahead of Sunday’s World Cup opener against the Czech Republic.
“Donovan actually spearheads a lot of the texts, texts guys to go out to team dinners, and we’ve had a number of them since then — from L.A. to Australia to now.”
Team USA officials said that this bunch of players gets along a lot more than other iterations of the team. One of the reasons why this is so is due to the fact that nobody seems to like the team outside themselves.
The league’s biggest stars didn’t show up for the World Cup, and the general perception of the team is that they are made up of players who were just picked to fill the roster. Donovan Mitchell and some of the other guys made sure that the team didn’t feel that way.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Miami’s Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh was born out of their Team USA activities. Brooklyn’s dynamic duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant was also possible due to the national team.
Fans who see this pattern will be curious as to which players in this team will team up in the NBA due to this tight bonds.