Winning an NBA title is considered to be the ultimate dream of any basketball player, but New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis says there is no better feeling than winning a gold medal at the Olympics.
Davis was part of the Team USA side that won gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but will not feature in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as he is still recovering after undergoing knee surgery in March.
Davis believes that winning a gold medal means more than tasting NBA glory as players are representing their country at the Olympics, an opportunity they only get every four years.
“For me, it’s No. 1,” Davis told USA Today. “You don’t really get an opportunity to win a gold medal every year, and I’m fortunate to have two, one for the World Cup and one for the Olympics.
“Winning — just the feeling of them playing your national anthem and them putting a gold medal around your neck — is huge.”
Even though many high-profile players such as LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and James Harden have withdrawn from the Olympics, Davis still believes that Team USA will emerge victorious in Rio.
“We’ve got a lot of great players on that team,” Davis said. “Paul George, DeMarcus [Cousins], Kyrie [Irving], Klay [Thompson] — so I think we’re gonna be fine. Guys are gonna go out there and compete. They know what USA Basketball holds their standards to, and that’s nothing less than winning gold.”
Meanwhile, Davis also has his sights set on leading the Pelicans to the playoffs next season after they missed out in the 2015/16 campaign due to a dismal 30-52 regular season record.
“We’ve gotta come out here and play together, play hard,” Davis said. “We lost a couple pieces, but we added a couple pieces as well. I’m excited about this season, and I think we’re gonna get back to our playoff ways.”