"We worked so hard to bring the gold medal back to the United States," Kobe Bryant said. "It's hard work and perseverance. Everybody has a story. Everybody has a journey."
Through the first seven games, the journey wasn't too hard for Bryant and Co. Team USA entered the gold medal game leading the tournament in eight statistical categories, including points off turnovers (198-77) and fastbreak points (175-55).
Entering the final, the U.S. was averaging 116.7 points per game, including an Olympic-record 156 against Nigeria. Opponents were averaging 81.
"We made a joke of it before the game, that we need to limit them to less than 100 points to win," Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.
The U.S. didn't have control until the final 2 minutes, 50 seconds, when James recorded a monster dunk and a clutch three-pointer to seal the win.
"We knew it wasn't going to be easy. We didn't want it easy,'' James said. "We're a competitive team and we love when it gets tight. That's when our will and determination kind of shows.''
Durant, James, Bryant and the rest of Team USA will go home and celebrate the victory.
Iguodala, meanwhile, returns to the States with a long to-do list. He must find a new place to live. He has to meet his new teammates and coaches. He has to adjust to life out West.
Iguodala arrived in London as a Sixer, the team that selected him in the NBA draft 8 years ago with the ninth overall pick. He leaves London as a Denver Nugget.
A few hours before Team USA's semifinal victory over Argentina, Iguodala was notified that he was part of a four-team blockbuster deal that sent Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia and Dwight Howard to the Lakers.
"I've just been trying to focus on helping this team win a gold," Iguodala said. "It hasn't really hit me hard. I've tried to play down what's going on back home."
On a team with global superstars - it was the second time in the NBA era that the gold-medal team had an NCAA champion (Anthony Davis) and an NBA champion (James) from that year - Iguodala was selected to the roster because of his versatility and reputation as a lock-down defender.
Through the first seven games, Iguodala averaged 4.9 points and 13.4 minutes; he had a total of 11 assists to only four turnovers.
Iguodala didn't have much impact in the gold-medal game. When Spain was hot, starting the second quarter on a 12-2 run, shooting 58 percent from the floor - coach Mike Krzyzewski kept Iguodala on the bench, opting to counter the offensive surge with more offense.
Iguodala's final stat line was two fouls, one rebound, one turnover and no attempted shots in 2:45.
Afterward, he was asked about the move he is about to undertake.
"I haven't really thought about " Iguodala said. "I realize that's part of the NBA. The greatest players who ever played the game played for multiple teams."
Throughout the week, Iguodala insisted he remained focused on the Olympics. He didn't solicit advice from teammates like Deron Williams, Chris Paul or Carmelo Anthony, who have also changed teams.
He might ask Anthony, a former Nugget who now is with the New York Knicks, for some tips, though.
"On the plane ride home we have plenty of time to discuss it," Iguodala said.