Four-time Olympian Sue Bird does not remember who the leading scorer was on any Olympic team she has been apart of, but she does know she has three gold medals.
The U.S. women’s basketball team, which trounced Senegal 121-56 in Sunday’s opener in Rio, will play with a team-first attitude in pursuit of a sixth straight gold.
“Nobody cares about who gets the shot,” Bird told reporters after last week’s 104-89 exhibition victory over Australia at Madison Square Garden. “Nobody cares about who gets the glory or the rebound or minutes, name it. It’s not about that. We all just want to win.”
Head coach Geno Auriemma told reporters at the Garden that, compared to the 2012 team, they have “a lot more they can do” and “a lot more options.”
“We’re capable of winning gold,” Bird told reporters last week. “That’s our mission, that’s our goal, nobody shies away from that. We’re going to Rio to win a gold medal.”
With three newcomers on the roster, two-time Olympian and New York Liberty forward Tina Charles said the team is doing a great job coming together, a result of veteran leadership from Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi and Bird.
“Everybody is zoning in on what it’s going to take to win and what our goal is going to be on this team,” Charles told reporters last week. “We’re just taking it in stride.”