What’s worth more, NBA championships or Olympic gold? USA center DeAndre Jordan is apparently going with the Olympics in this argument.
In an interview with ESPN prior to USA’s quarterfinal matchup against Argentina on Wednesday night, Jordan explained why he sees more importance in winning Olympic gold than winning an NBA title.
“I think they’re above NBA rings,” Jordan said. “I may get in trouble for saying that, but I believe that. I feel like this is more special. You’re not just playing teams in the U.S. You’re playing teams from all over the world. And this is even more special because there’s an NBA champion crowned every year, but this is every four years.”
Jordan, an eight-year veteran, has never made it past the Western Conference Semifinals as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. He does not even know what NBA gold feels like. So how would he know.
One of Jordan’s current teammates, two-time gold medalist Carmelo Anthony, seems to have a similar mindset on winning in the Olympics versus winning in the NBA.
Unlike Jordan, Anthony did not go to the extent of saying winning gold is better than a championship. However, in a separate interview with ESPN last week, Anthony did express his satisfaction with Olympic gold because he could “look back on it when my career is over — if I don’t have an NBA championship ring — and say I had a great career.”
Anthony is a 13-year veteran and like Jordan, has never won an NBA championship.
Sorry, fellas. You’re busted. Just because Anthony said something along the same lines does not justify it for Jordan. It is as if Jordan is using the Rio Olympics as a method to get NBA followers to forget the Clippers cannot win championships. Guess what? They will not forget.
Granted, Jordan averaged a monstrous 12.7 points, 13.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks while earning First Team All-NBA honors for the first time in 2015-2016. But the Clippers did not make it past the first round of the playoffs last year, as they lost to the Portland Trail Blazers.
All of a sudden , Jordan is tickled to pink at the thought of winning a gold medal. The U.S. has won gold in basketball the past two Olympics. “Victory” is pretty much stamped on each USA player’s forehead when they go to the Olympics.
The Clippers failed to beat a Damian Lillard-led Trail Blazers squad in the first round of the playoffs last year but Jordan thinks beating the likes of teams like Argentina or China for that matter, is more important than winning an NBA championship.
To each is own.
Jordan had just two points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action in USA’s 105-78 victory over Argentina on Wednesday. Jordan may play a bigger role in USA’s next game, which is on Friday against Spain. Spain is led by center Pau Gasol, who may likely be matched up against Jordan.