In 2004, Team USA suffered one of its most embarrassing defeats to date. Despite having a roster consisting of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan, and others, the team lost 3 games over the course of the summer, earning the only bronze medal from 1992 to 2016.
Four years later, in 2008, Team USA returned with the infamous “Redeem Team,” and assembled probably one of the best rosters ever to avenge their loss years prior.
One name noticeably absent from that roster was Kevin Durant — a young budding star at the time who failed to make the cut. In a statement he told to ESPN, that failure is still something that haunts him to this day.
“I was disappointed not making the  Olympic team. I felt I played my way onto the team. Nobody really expected me to play that well in the practices, but I was 19 and I felt like I got snubbed. I felt disrespected, and I was like, “Nah, this can’t go down like that. It’s not happening again.” I was just so upset that I wasn’t part of the Redeem Team. You could tell those guys had so much fun playing with each other and I wanted that even if I was on the bench. I just wanted to learn, soak that energy up from those guys.”
As a guy just entering the league, KD was hoping to learn and grow under his idols. At the time, that included names like Kobe and LeBron.
And while Kevin has more than proven his worth now, getting to play alongside those guys to bring the Gold back home that year is something he’ll never get to experience. Clearly, he’s pretty bothered by it.