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Other Team USA players think ring will make LeBron better

LeBron James participates in the U.S. Olympic basketball team practice in Las Vegas

LeBron James participates in the U.S. Olympic basketball team practice at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center in Las Vegas, Nevada July 6, 2012. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Sam Morris (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL OLYMPICS HEADSHOT)


LeBron James can play better?

The very thought should send chills down the spines of other contenders, he already had an epic season — MVP, NBA finals MVP, NBA champion, potential gold medal winner — but the other guys on Team USA think he can be and will be.

That’s what they told Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated:

“He’s going to be a different player,’' said (Tyson) Chandler (who knows how a championship impacts you after winning one with Dallas)… “LeBron was already an incredible player, and if not the best, top two -- there’s only one other guy that can challenge that, and he’s on this team…

“So his whole mentality is going to be different, because the confidence of winning an NBA championship changes a player,’' said Chandler. “Confidence -- knowing you’re a champion, you’re the best. You walk around with that swagger, and he deserves it. He worked very hard and now he can call himself a champ.”

Kobe Bryant, in his Kobe way, said the same thing — James will be hungrier.
“One championship doesn’t get it, you know what I’m saying?’' Bryant said. “So for me, when we won one, it was a little different because it was, like you know, Michael (Jordan) had six, Magic (Johnson) had five. So me and Shaq (O’Neal) both were like, man, we got to get some more. One ain’t going to cut it.’'

Kobe won two rings since the last Olympics to LeBron’s one. Think he will remind LeBron of that?
“Not yet,’' he said. “I will. I will.”