Yep, that's U.S. men's national team members Chris Paul, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Anthony Davis and Deron Williams all caught napping — actually, "completely unconscious" seems a more appropriate descriptor — during Team USA's flight to London ahead of Friday's Opening Ceremony to kick off the 2012 Summer Olympics.
D'awwwww. Even heavy gold medal favorites get tuckered, y'all.
For the non-hoops fans in our midst, Love's candid cabin shot continues a meme that emerged during this past NBA season thanks primarily to DeAndre Jordan, a teammate of Paul with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers. The premise is simple — wait for a teammate or coach to fall asleep on the team plane, then crowd around the conked-out compatriot, take a goofy photo and put it on Twitter, accompanied by the hashtag "#GotEm." It can make for some pretty fantastic photo opportunities, as many a Clipper player and coach learned this season. The phenomenon then extended to the U.S. squad's summer tune-up schedule, with Love and company getting a snoozing Carmelo Anthony and a REM-cycle-stricken Russell Westbrook, among others.
But as Trey Kerby noted at The Basketball Jones, Love's achievement outstrips them all — everyone in the picture is sound asleep, including Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, tucked away in the upper left-hand corner of the frame, which is somehow even funnier than just one dude being knocked out and everyone making funny faces over his snoring gob. Plus, Love apparently deployed some subterfuge to secure his snapshot; after Love tweeted the pic out to the world, Williams wrote that the Minnesota Timberwolves power forward "swore he was going to sleep!" before taking his teammates down.
I'm not sure if such an epic get will curry any favor with Love's teammates, and I'm pretty sure that getting Coach K won't really help Love find much more playing time in the near future. Then again, maybe Coach K will look at the big picture (Instagrammed or otherwise) and see that when an opportunity for greatness presents itself, Kevin Love is ready.
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