Keldon Johnson has been a mainstay at the Las vegas Summer League and last Thursday he took some time to answer questions about his Tokyo experience.
When asked how Pop’s coaching style differed between the Spurs and Team USA, Keldon had no hesitation when he stated:
“Absolutely nothing was different. At all. Pop, he was the same still preaching the same things. That’s Pop. I didn’t expect him to change just because we were at the Olympics I knew he was going to be the same”
On his role with Team USA:
“Everybody has a role. Some games I played, some games I didn’t play. I was there to support and do whatever I could do to help us win. I just tried to be myself and bring energy, which everybody knows I do ... pretty well.”
On the rough start:
“We all believed — the whole group — that as long as we just stayed together we would be successful.”
On Pop’s reaction to winning:
“Just seeing how much time and hard work he put into it, you could tell he wanted it so bad. Just to see the relief on his face and him being able to smile after it was over, it was nice.”
On his family’s reaction:
“My mother was yelling, jumping up and down. My dad was kind of speechless. He didn’t really know what to say.”
About winning the Gold:
“When it was all over, it kind of didn’t feel real. At the end of the day, this is like a dream. I am blessed and honored to have had an opportunity like that to play for the United States of America. It was hard to take in at first, but I am just happy and blessed.”
And on how much longer Keldon plans to wear the medal out:
“It’s hard to take it off. It’s such a big accomplishment.”
Keldon originally started at part of the reserve crew and was invited to join when Bradley Beal had to step down. He stayed ready and confident in himself, and he was rewarded with an amazing opportunity.
Now Keldon will have to harness that Team USA energy into the Spurs upcoming season.
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