Luol Deng has just lost a no-holds-barred one-on-one game with his team-mate Pops Mensah-Bonsu at the Houston Rockets practice gym in Texas. This is where the GB basketball team have come for their pre-Olympic training camp, and BBC Sport has been given access. Deng is on a day of light gym work but cannot resist a full-on tussle with Mensah-Bonsu. "Basketball is my passion and I love it," he says. "But I am not going to lie to you. I don't like sitting with the media." Continue reading the main story "I don't blame anyone for being flashy, or not being flashy. You are who you are. I've got a lot of friends who are flashy and I love them." Luol Deng Deng may not enjoy the attention, or losing to Mensah-Bonsu, but he is happy to talk about London 2012 because, for him, this is the sport's time to shine. "It's a huge opportunity for us to show that British basketball can compete with the rest of the world," says the 27-year-old. Deng is key to the GB team and coach Chris Finch does not try to hide the fact. The plays that the team work on in Houston are built around him and at one point Finch asks Deng how he wants the play to unfold, how it would work best for him. It would be easy to assume that, given his importance in the team and his status as an NBA All-Star, Deng would have an NBA-size ego, but nothing about his demeanour suggests superstar. "I'm not a cocky guy," he says. "I'm not the guy that sits there and talks about himself. I don't do that. I would rather go out and no one recognise me.
I'm no flashy NBA superstar, says Luol Deng
BBC | Jul 13