"We expect the same type of heart of a champion that we played against tonight in Argentina.”
--Coach K, USA men's head basketball coach, discussing the mental mindset of the opponents in the Olympics' medal rounds.
"Anybody who has aspirations to be a champion, you understand that there's a sense of pride that comes along with beating a champion."
--Kobe Bryant, discussing motivations as Team USA prepares for a battle with defending world champion, Spain.
"This is why I'm here, to keep everyone's composure. Those other were dress rehearsals; these are the ones that count."
--Jason Kidd, 35, starting point guard, who took control of the game with Argentina with his leadership and experience.
Kidd lead a 12-4 rally at the start of the third quarter by discussing individual roles with the team at halftime and settling down the tempo of the game.
"It's a great honor to be a part of this team. At 35, this is my last go-around. To say that I can play for a gold medal and play with this group of guys, it's unbelievable," says Kidd.
Excerpts from the New York Times 8/23/08.