These Team USA basketball players like each other

USA TODAY’s Nancy Armour previews the first day of Olympic action in Rio.
USA TODAY Sports

RIO DE JANEIRO – As Olympic Games story lines go, this isn’t the kind of thing normally worth a headline.

The breaking news here, in essence, is that Team USA men’s basketball players really like each other.

Zzzzzzzz…..

But after seeing this lovefest up close during their Las Vegas training camp, then seeing it again when they ran over China in a July 24 exhibition game at Oracle Arena and yet again in the early days here, it’s worth discussing for two reasons.

1) It’s clearly real – much more than a cliché talking point. You can see the fun they’re having in their interactions, in front of the cameras and away from them. The most visible/viral example of this was the “Call Me Maybe” sing-along that was taped by the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan on a team plane bound for Houston  and inspired by Jimmy Butler (much more on him later). Barring a shocking loss at some point…

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