DeAndre Jordan: Gold Medals ‘Above NBA Rings’

USA's DeAndre Jordan jumping for the basket as China's Wang Zhelin attempts a block during the match at the Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro on August 6, 2016

Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan puts gold medals above NBA rings.

“I think they’re above NBA rings,” Jordan told ESPN. “I may get in trouble for saying that, but I believe that. I feel like this is more special.”

Jordan scored seven points and grabbed three points in 18 minutes of play in Team USA’s final preliminary round game on Monday, a 100-97 win over France. Team USA plays Argentina late Wednesday afternoon in win-or-go-home play. Croatia, Serbia, France, Australia, Lithuania, and Spain also remain in the tournament.

Jordan, who comes off a first-team All-NBA season, has never played beyond the second round in the NBA playoffs. In competing in his first Olympiad, the Christian athlete out of Texas A&M clearly takes the games as much more than that.

“You’re not just playing teams in the U.S.,” he says of the Olympics. “You’re playing teams from all over the world. And this is even more special because there’s an NBA champion crowned every year, but this is every four years. You’ve got to really think about that, man, because it’s extremely special.”