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Other Team USA players think ring will make LeBron better

Jul 9, 2012, 1:52 PM EDT

LeBron James participates in the U.S. Olympic basketball team practice in Las Vegas Reuters

LeBron James can play better?

The very thought should send chills down the spines of other contenders, he already had an epic season — MVP, NBA finals MVP, NBA champion, potential gold medal winner — but the other guys on Team USA think he can be and will be.

That’s what they told Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated:

“He’s going to be a different player,” said (Tyson) Chandler (who knows how a championship impacts you after winning one with Dallas)… “LeBron was already an incredible player, and if not the best, top two — there’s only one other guy that can challenge that, and he’s on this team…

“So his whole mentality is going to be different, because the confidence of winning an NBA championship changes a player,” said Chandler. “Confidence — knowing you’re a champion, you’re the best. You walk around with that swagger, and he deserves it. He worked very hard and now he can call himself a champ.”

Kobe Bryant, in his Kobe way, said the same thing — James will be hungrier.

“One championship doesn’t get it, you know what I’m saying?” Bryant said. “So for me, when we won one, it was a little different because it was, like you know, Michael (Jordan) had six, Magic (Johnson) had five. So me and Shaq (O’Neal) both were like, man, we got to get some more. One ain’t going to cut it.”

Kobe won two rings since the last Olympics to LeBron’s one. Think he will remind LeBron of that?

“Not yet,” he said. “I will. I will.”

  1. loungefly74 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Kobe “OG” Bryant struttin’ his stuff…only because he’s earned the right too…

    oh yeah, makes me think about how Steve Young felt when he finally won a SuperBowl, “Take that gorilla off my back!!!!!” yeah, life is easier with less things to worry about. Lebron is gonna be in charge and destroy anyone in his way.

  2. ccshocktalk - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Anybody can get better, but it will be kind of hard to notice him getting that much better. If anything he’ll get the killer instinct that Kobe & Michael have…he has the skill set, now he just needs the ice in his veins and the killer instinct to get it done from start to finish.

    • mrpostman985 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      No he don’t have dat skill set but he can get da instinct!!!

    • progress2011 - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      More of the “Shocking” asinine comments from midgets….

      The Definition of ” Ice In the Veins” –
      1. MVP
      2. NBA Finals MVP
      3. NBA Championship

      So, for a dimwit, ignoramus, imbecile to suggest otherwise, further clarifies that person (in this case shocktalk) has ZERO clue about “FUNDAMENTAL” basketball !

      The rest of us noticed he was throwing snow balls in the basket….the guy was stone cold/ ice in his veins.

      Lastly, please stop trying to lump kobe / jack-up artist/ ball hawk/ and1 / Harlem Globetrotter, with the Greatest Player of our generation and ” FUNDAMENTALLY ” sound M.J. ! Stop the madness, he’s not in the same arena.

      • ccshocktalk - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:02 PM

        Winning 33% of the NBA finals does not classify someone as having ice in their veins.
        Ice in your veins would look something what Mike did, 6 for 6, MVP’s in each and every one of them.

        If you meant he has ice in his veins because he left his home town team high and dry, had to team with 2 other all stars, lost in the Olympics in 2004, lost in the fiba world championships in 2006, and got swept in his first finals appearance, lost on his home court in his second trip to the finals and got saved by bench players quadrupling their season averages to beat the heat by less than 7 points per game….yeah he definitely has ice in his veins…

  3. golfrangeman - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    No reason to think he won’t keep winning. He has all the pieces around him and he now knows he has to be the man.

  4. papichulo55 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Totally agree. It was a joy to the transformation of LBJ from a Great Player to Champion. You could see the difference from the start of Game 1. He started that game with a mid-game sweat, and what I call Shark Eyes.

    Its surprising to see so many NBA players not fully warmed-up. They waste precious possesions doing what they should have done before the whistle. The best analogies would be boxing and thoroghbred racing. You can look at a guy during the pre-fight instructions to see if he is ready when the bell rings. And anybody who spends time at the track will tell you, you need to watch how they come out. LBJ came ready to play at tip-off. Wade does not. His game, as great as it is, needs a few trips to get going.

    As for Shark Eyes, you could see that he was in a different place, mentally. From play-to-play, basket or turnover, no emotion. Like a shark! Total focus, no emotional distractions, nothing wasted.. Cold killer..

    Cant call myself a Heat fan, but I LUV to see any athlete take his game to the highest level.

  5. buffalobills2012 - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    to bad lebron did it without a true big man like Kobe needed….

    • ccshocktalk - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      Um, since when is Chris Bosh not a big man? He’s no smaller than Ibaka…he may be tall and lean but he’s as true a big man as Tim Duncan….what do you want to say about Timmy and his 4 rings?

  6. lakerluver - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Buffalo, that argument is as old and tired as you are. Shaq didn’t win anything without Kobe or Wade. Pau would still be toiling away in obscurity without Kobe. Great players need other great players to win titles. Take Parrish or McHale away and Bird is Chris Mullin. Take Duncan away and David Robinson is Ewing. Get my drift, dunce? Furthermore, it is possible that Kobe’s last two rings (if he doesn’t win anymore) will have been won on a team with him bring the lone HOF player. If you go down the history of NBA champs you will find that it’s very rare for a team to win a title without at least two HOF players. I think it has happened less than 5 times. Guys like yourself make Pau out to be a young Bill Walton. That is not the case. Pau is very good but definitely not a sure fire HOF’er.

    • mannyfresh209 - Jul 9, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      Yeah, but Kobe didn’t win anything without Shaq and/or 2 7-footers on his squad.

      • mannyfresh209 - Jul 9, 2012 at 7:22 PM

        And also, if you don’t think Derrick Fisher is a HOFer, you don’t know sh*t about basketball *Roger Mayweather voice*

      • rtfinch - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM

        lebron didnt win any without dwade or chris bosh

  7. lakerluver - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Some of you clowns have gone Kobe’s whole career trying to belittle his accomplishments. The fact of the matter is, if he never scores another point, wins another ring, or makes another game winner, he would still be considered one of the very best players ever. To suggest his accomplishments do not put him in the discussion of the GOAT is asinine. I’ve only seen 3 perimeter players who could dominate a game both offensively and defensively: MJ, Kobe, and LeBron. Stop your petty jealousy and ignorance and simply appreciate greatness. Kobe is the closest player we’ve seen to MJ since MJ retired.

  8. findthetruth90 - Jul 9, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Kobe is so (wait for it, wait for it) funnily jealous when it comes to talking about LeBron.

  9. lakerluver - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Dude, I love D. Fish more than anyone but he will never make the HOF. Why would he? Sure he has 5 rings but he has never even made an all star team. His career scoring average is 9 points. He never averaged more than 12 in a season. Robert Horry has more rings and better stats than D. Fish and he hasn’t even had a sniff of the HOF. So, tell me what justifies D. Fish getting in? And “I” don’t know basketball?!!! Wow!!!!!

    • progress2011 - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM

      I think we all agree….you Don’t Know B-Ball. The HOF is littered with players that were complimentary players but were consistent throughout their career.

      Many of them are not 1st or 2nd ballot. Some don’t get in until after they have passed away. Nonetheless they are recognized for their overall contribution to the game, team play, sportsmanship,toughness etc.

      D.Fish and Horry are as worthy as many on the list.

      Do some research for a change. Here’s the link: http://www.hoophall.com/hall-of-famers-index/

      Now tell your Daddy, Thank You !

  10. nokoolaidcowboy - Jul 10, 2012 at 5:20 AM

    Yo Lebron, tell yo mama Silky said hello!

    • rtfinch - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      after delonte west is done he will

  11. suhnum1fan - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Half season champ oops chump

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