Eric Gordon: We were able to prove we could win the gold
Eric Gordon, the Clippers' shooting guard and a reserve on Team USA, has been a guest blogger for the Fabulous Forum during the FIBA World Championship tournament in Turkey. On Sunday, Kevin Durant led Team USA to an 81-64 victory over Turkey in the gold-medal game with 28 points. Gordon missed all five of his shots, including four three-pointers, but had two assists, one steal, one blocked shot and one rebound in 13 minutes of play. Here are Gordon’s impressions of the game and his FIBA experience:
I've never won a championship on this level, so this is big time for us. We came together for a short period of time, a month and a half, almost two months now, and our expectation was to win the gold. A lot of people back home and around the world didn’t think we could do it because we were a young and inexperienced team. But we were able to prove that we could win it because we played as a team and played really good defense the entire tournament.
Turkey has some really good shooters, so we couldn't let them have the shots they wanted. I didn't shoot the ball well, but I worked really hard on defense. The main thing about today was just to win. And the thing that we do best is play really good defense. Throughout the whole way, it didn't matter if we struggled on offense, our half-court defense was really good.
To win the gold medal, we knew we had to break Turkey down at the guards. We didn’t let them have as many threes as they'd like to shoot or let them get off any shot they wanted.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski is a really good coach and motivator. He kept us together as a team and helped us adapt to the FIBA style of play. It's a different type of game than the NBA -- more physical and fast paced sometimes -- and Coach told us to keep adapting our game to the rules and we were able to do that.
Confidence-wise it helps a lot to win this tournament. You learn a lot of new and different things and it's been a really good learning experience for me.
I have two weeks before Clippers training camp. I'm feeling pretty confident about the upcoming season. It's a brand new start for us and I'm really anxious to see how we’re going to be this year. I worked a little bit with Blake Griffin and some of the players this summer before joining Team USA, but that was awhile ago. It's going to be good to get back and get into the flow of things.
-- Eric Gordon
Photo: U.S. guard Eric Gordon knocks the ball away from a driving Kerem Tunceri of Turkey in the FIBA World Championship gold-medal game Sunday. Credit: Jeff Haynes / Reuters