If the United States basketball team is often described as a circus when it comes to the Olympic environment, the squad were in full three-ring mode as they prepared for their involvement at Rio.

Even before they touched down in Brazil, and even with several of the country's best players remaining at home, the heirs to the Dream Teams moniker were creating plenty of headlines, with hijinks being linked to pop stars and porn stars alike.

Both incidents were rather amusing - perhaps except for Steven Adams' good friend Draymond Green - and both indicated this team's celebrity extends well beyond the basketball court.

First, en route to their final warm-up game against Nigeria in Houston, some of the younger members of Team USA engaged in a little musical merriment on the plane, showcased in perhaps the best sporting video of 2016.


In a clip uploaded to DeMar DeRozan's Instagram, the likes of Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving are seen getting their groove on while Vanessa Carlton's 2002 banger A Thousand Miles plays, and all seems to be swell ... until the camera pans to Carmelo Anthony.

The old man of the team at 32, Melo is slumped in his window seat, glaring at the camera and appearing distinctly unamused at his teammates' antics. Carlton, to her credit, tweeted at Anthony, saying "I get it. Though the boys did sound pretty good", and after completing a comprehensive rout of Nigeria, the small forward elaborated on his perceived discontent.

"They know I don't like early mornings," Anthony said "That was Jimmy's playlist - I'm taking the speakers back from him. No more music. I actually like that song, though ... but they got me early in the morning. I'm sorry, Vanessa. I apologise."

Green was another member of that squad needing to do some apologising - and 'member' is the right word to use. The Golden State power forward earlier in the week said sorry for inadvertently sending a dick pic on Snapchat, making public what was absolutely intended to be a private message.

Most fans quickly forgave Green, given mistakes happen and no malice was intended. Some, after Green seemingly set out to attack the testicles of Adams and LeBron James during the NBA playoffs, joked it was a good thing for the Warrior to pay attention to his own package for once.

And then there was Vivid Entertainment boss Steve Hirsh, who offered Green US$100,000 to star in a proposed adult film called Drayzilla. "There's no doubt this will be a huge hit and everyone will see a lot of Green," Hirsh punned. "What do you say, Dray? Let's do this and this time you'll really make history."

Hope onboard the T Train

Medicinal marijuana being legalised for use among American football players is rapidly becoming a topic close to World of Sport's heart - and first-person pieces like that of Eugene Monroe provide all the evidence why.

"Before kickoff on game day," Monroe wrote recently in the Players' Tribune, "in NFL locker rooms all over the country, players wait in line to drop their pants. We call it the T Train.

"I play for the Baltimore Ravens, and if we're at home, there's a small office sectioned off from the training room in M&T Bank Stadium that we use.

If we're on the road, the visiting locker rooms don't usually have sufficient space, so we just go to a corner of the training room.

"The T Train is nothing more than a bunch of really large guys waiting to pull their pants down to get shot in the butt with Toradol, a powerful painkiller that will help them make it through the game and its aftermath."

It's quite an arresting mental image and offers an illustration of the punishment to which NFL players are subjected every week. And despite overseeing the most violent ball sport in the world, the NFL is still seemingly happy for players to risk addiction to a prescription pain-killer, suspending any athlete who tests positive for marijuana.

Monroe, who was released by the Ravens after making public his marijuana advocacy, last week retired from the sport.

The 29-year-old says he wakes up "each day in pain from head to toe" but a few drops of THC-A tincture - a drug legal in 25 states - alleviates the pain without the side effects or dependency risk of painkillers.

"It's little surprise that retired NFL players misuse prescription painkillers at a rate more than four times that of the general population," Monroe wrote.

"There has to be a better way. There is a better way."