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DeAndre Jordan prioritizes gold medal over NBA title

By
Alex Butler
American forward DeAndre Jordan (R) stuffs the ball over Serbian defender Nikola Jokic during the USA-Serbia Men's Preliminary Basketball game at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 12, 2016. The The U.S. team won a close game, 94-91. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
American forward DeAndre Jordan (R) stuffs the ball over Serbian defender Nikola Jokic during the USA-Serbia Men's Preliminary Basketball game at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 12, 2016. The The U.S. team won a close game, 94-91. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- They say don't knock it until you try it.

But DeAndre Jordan did just that when he told ESPN's Marc Stein and Mark Schwarz that he thinks Olympic gold medals are more prestigious than NBA championships.

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"I think they're above NBA rings," Jordan told Stein and Schwarz.

"I may get in trouble for saying that, but I believe that. I feel like this is more special. You're not just playing teams in the U.S. 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."

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"You've got to really think about that, man, because it's extremely special."

Team USA faces Argentina at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday in a men's quarterfinal matchup. Jordan's Los Angeles Clippers have never made it past the Western Conference Semifinals during his eight-year stint.

The Vertical's Michael Lee recently reported that Jordan said "there wasn't any more urgency to win next season" with the Clippers, despite last season's disappointment.

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"Every team goes through ups and downs, and some dark times, but you've got to keep fighting through and find a way," Jordan told The Vertical. "That makes for a better story for me. This is my ninth season, and I definitely want a chance at winning something that's never happened before, with the Clippers. It's big. I want a chance at the title."

Jordan scored seven points and had three rebounds in the American's 100-97 victory on Aug. 14 against France. He averaged a career-high 12.7 points and 13.8 rebounds last season. Jordan's .703 field-goal percentage led the NBA in 2015.

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