Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine didn’t deny that Team USA players are recruiting each other, but he emphasized that it’s only a byproduct of being teammates and that their focus remains the same: winning Olympic gold.
According to LaVine, it’s unavoidable for Team USA players to talk about the NBA and build relationships, noting that they need to also mingle with each other. After all, that can’t be helped since they are playing together and sharing a common goal.
However, he did acknowledge that the rumors and speculations that come from it are understandable considering the player empowerment era we are in.
“Players gonna be players, man. You gonna mingle and talk. But we’re here for one goal, we’re trying to win the gold medal. I think whatever comes from that — friendships, teammates — I think that’s an afterthought,” the Bulls star said, per Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports.
“But you know how the NBA is. Everybody talks, and it’s a player’s league, so we understand what goes on. Something happens, it happens.”
For what it’s worth, the rumor mill has been active once again as Team USA players comment about each other during press conferences. For one, when Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love talked about his “love-hate” relationship with Draymond Green, it sparked rumors of a possible trade to the Golden State Warriors.
As the Bulls All-Star said it, it is unavoidable for players to talk to each other and the idea of “recruitment” comes from their interactions. At the end of the day, what is important is for Zach LaVine and Co. to keep in mind their real mission for the nation as the Tokyo Olympics nears.