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Davis embracing Team USA leadership role

Davis embracing Team USA leadership role

Posted by Liliana Castaño on August 29, 2014

Anthony Davis is eager, not to mention proud, to accept the physical risks that go with playing without pay for Team USA.

With the FIBA World Cup approaching this weekend, Davis said playing for his country does more than make him a better player. It's also a way to spend his offseason doing what he loves while showing his appreciation for others who've made greater sacrifices, and taken far greater risks, in the name of patriotism.

"I love playing for USA basketball. Some guys look at it as they don't get paid, so you don't have to play or whatever," Davis said on a conference call with reporters on Thursday. "I love playing the game of basketball and any time I get a chance to represent my country, especially for all the servicemen and women who do so much for us, I think it's a great opportunity to show your appreciation.

"So I love doing things like this and I look forward to future years playing for USA Basketball."

His focus, however, is the much more immediate future. Namely, Saturday, when Team USA opens group play against Finland in Bilbao, Spain.

The risks of playing in events like the FIBA World Cup became magnified earlier this month when Indiana Pacers star Paul George broke his right leg in a stomach-turning collision under the basket.

Davis said he, like many on the court and around the world, were shaken by George's injury, which he called gruesome. But the 21-year-old Davis said he and fellow US teammates are now committed "to keep moving forward and try to win this (championship) for him."

Certainly, the last person who was going to dissuade Davis from playing was his Pelicans coach, Monty Williams, who is an assistant with the US Team under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

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