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The new managing director of USA Basketball spoke with Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill about his new role and whether starting with a clean slate may be the right way to approach the team entering the Paris 2024 Olympics.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Now we're at this next phase of USA Basketball. Jerry Colangelo is stepping down. You're stepping in. This is an enormous task. You have to hire a new head coach. You got to continue the program or make changes as you see fit. What is the first thing on your list as you officially slide into your role?
GRANT HILL: First of all, we have a shorter period of preparation. Normally, you have a three year ramp up to the World Cup championships, four years leading up to the Olympics. You know, that's all been condensed now. Finding a coaching staff, that's tricky. It can be difficult. But that's something that's sort of an immediate task at hand.
And then talking to all the stakeholders. Talking to the players, participants. Trying to figure out, OK, what's this experience like? What can we do to improve it? You know, maybe pressing the refresh button on the program. Taking a look, OK, where can we improve? Where can we lean in and make the experience better and give us a greater opportunity for success?
So it's definitely not ceremonial by any stretch of the imagination. And we have to recognize and respect that the international game is a different game. You know, in the NBA, it's a different style.
There's more physicality in the international game. It's more about precise execution in the international game. So I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work and pursue the ultimate goal. And that's a gold medal.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Do you want to wipe the slate clean, start from scratch as far as the players are concerned? And do you feel like this next cycle, the cycle that you're starting, that you kind of have to do what Jerry Colangelo did when he took over and basically wipe the slate clean and start from scratch?
GRANT HILL: You make a good point. I mean, I think one of the great things about what Jerry and Coach K did in 2008, 2012, even going on to '16, was you had-- you built a culture and you had continuity. And so you had guys who bought in and participated and were able to go through multiple cycles. A lot of those guys who are participants won't be around in 2024.
And so you're bringing new players into the pipeline, bringing new players into the system. Obviously, Kevin Durant, he played recently and was dominant in Tokyo and hopefully will still be around and still be dominant in 2024.
But you saw some younger players. You saw Devin Booker. You saw Jrue Holiday, Jayson Tatum. They got their experience. They got their feet wet. So it's just-- it's a bit of a transition. To maintain success, we have to adapt and adjust. Today's player, today's landscape, is very different than what it was in 2008.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Hey, Grant, thanks for your time. Look, if you were not a spokesperson, if you were not going to be USA Basketball managing director, I would say that you could run for president. You kind of got that sort of presidential thing going on. I mean, you know, your wife might not like you doing all that. But I think you could run for public office.
GRANT HILL: Well I appreciate your support. I don't know if my president at the house, my CEO, would approve. But I'm glad you approve. So I appreciate that.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Thanks again, Grant. I appreciate you, man.
GRANT HILL: All right, man. Thank you. I appreciate you as well.