Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is feeling refreshed after skipping the FIBA Basketball World Cup ahead of the NBA season.
The league MVP withdrew from the United States' squad in the lead-up to the event, which they won convincingly in Spain, citing tiredness.
Durant, 26, said the time off had done him good as the Thunder prepare for a title challenge.
"I just think it was more so that I didn't want to be in full-season mode in August or July," he said.
"I just wanted that time to free my body and my mind up, and just go out there and work on the court on my game and just enjoy the rest of the summer, because I know how long the season is, and I just want to be completely prepared for that."
Durant is confident the Thunder can be a serious threat for the title, having won the Northwest division the past four years.
But the 26-year-old urged his team to remain focused in their bid for a second championship and first since 1979.
"We've got all the tools," Durant said.
"We've got a great coach [Scott Brooks], we've got a great core of guys, we've got a great bench. We've just got to continue to take one day at a time and keep it cool and see where we are in the end."