USA Basketball’s airplane karaoke session is as awesome as it sounds

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Team USA Basketball
Team USA Basketball had quite the airplane karaoke session. (AP)

Olympic glory is nice, but hanging with your friends on your way to the Olympics is just as fun – especially when you’re Team USA Basketball.

After dismantling Venezuela in an exhibition game in Chicago 80-45, the men’s USA Basketball team boarded a flight headed to Houston to continue their exhibition schedule leading up the Olympic Games. As you can imagine, with a team of 12 rather large men at the top of their sport, things can get a little … weird.

Who knew Vanessa Carlton really spoke to the souls of these men? Also, is the plane so cold that forward Kevin Durant had to dress up as a tauntaun from the Hoth system?

Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant

That was just the beginning of the festivities. USA guard Jimmy Butler, who appears to be the provider of many of these songs, croons his way through a country song with a confused Kyrie Irving backing him up.

Not everyone was into the impromptu karaoke session though. Team USA elder statesman Carmelo Anthony was focused on nothing except getting a couple winks of sleep. And when you’re flying in a metal tube with rowdy whippersnappers, you gotta fight for your right to nap.

Anthony had the look of a man that was one song away from pulling a Sergeant Roger Murtaugh on a team full of Riggs. Draymond Green showed no mercy toward Anthony’s more elderly perspective.

That may seem harsh, but this is how chemistry is built. Spending time on the road building a rapport with your team so you have each others backs on the field of play.

On some field trips you go on as a kid, the bus ride to whatever museum you go to might be even more fun than the museum itself. The grind of the Olympics might not be comparable to the regular season, but the team still needs these moments to fortify camaraderie.

When it is all said and done, it won’t be the games where they beat opponents by 40 points they will remember, it will be the time they spent together not playing basketball. Whenever Charles Barkley talks about the time he spent with the Dream Team in 1992, he fondly remembers hanging in the hotel room playing cards with Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, not elbowing the Angolan player or who he dunked over on any given night.

[Related: 2016 Team USA, 1992 ‘Dream Team’ will be featured in ‘NBA 2K17’]

Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James hung out during the Redeem Team run in 2008, building a superteam off the relationships they built during their time in Beijing. Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Durant are starting to build their chemistry early as they will be suiting up in Golden State Warriors jerseys in the fall.

This may seem a little too summer campy and like the team doesn’t recognize the significance of the Olympics, but it will help them look out for each other when the game gets hard. And speaking of summer camp, is there anything more cliche than messing with your friends while they’re sleeping?

No, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.