LAS VEGAS -- Brotherhood, chemistry and camaraderie. Those three words have been used repeatedly during the U.S. basketball team's first four days of practice.
It's those things that will help bring together the final 12-man roster for the squad that will compete in the FIBA World Championships in Spain running Aug. 30 to Sept. 14.
"A lot of guys make it to the NBA, and that's a fraternity," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said after practice Thursday at UNLV's Mendenhall Center. "But this is a selective fraternity -- guys that have been able to wear a USA jersey and play competitive international basketball.
"Brotherhood is a good term."
Curry, who won a gold medal with the team that went 9-0 in the 2010 World Championships, will likely have his passport stamped, along with fellow returnees Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose. Add in James Harden and Anthony Davis, who both joined the team that won the 2012 Olympics, and coach Mike Krzyzewski has the core he needs to build around.
Krzyzewski has said all week that this year's team is not about choosing from a group of individual NBA All-Stars, but rather finding the right personalities that will blend and complement the core he's had intermittently the past four years.
Krzyzewski said his first priority is filling the big-man void created by the recent withdrawals of Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge.
"We have to have more than Anthony Davis," Krzyzewski said. "All the big guys have shown good stuff here. A lot of the big guys mesh in with the scoring talent on the team. Obviously, you have Harden and Curry, Rose and (Kyrie) Irving ... Durant, (Paul) George. How do the big guys mesh in with that? And what style are you going to end up playing has a big factor."
DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond and Kenneth Faried are competing to join Davis. They'll have their chance to display their talent Friday in the Blue-White Showcase at the Thomas and Mack Center.
Durant, whom USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo called the face of the national team last summer, said he doesn't envy Krzyzewski. Durant, Harden and George have spent roughly 20 minutes after practice the past two days going through 1-on-1 drills, while delighting onlookers in the facility.
But, Durant, the 2014 league MVP said it has been the time spent away from the court that has been invaluable.
"Getting to know each other's tendencies on the court, talking on the bus, in the breakfast room and the meetings -- we're building that camaraderie, and that's what you need," Durant said. "We've got all the talent in the world; it's the mental end we need to take care, and I think we're getting it."
George said the sense of brotherhood among the camp invitees was established before they even hit the floor, when they all met for a meeting Sunday night at the team hotel. Krzyzewski and Colangelo delivered a speech and showed them a video of previous teams celebrating after gold-medal victories.
Said Harden: "The individualism goes out the window. It's about team effort, it's about one goal -- and that's winning a world championship."