Kevin Durant traveled to Tokyo to lead Team USA to another Olympic gold medal, reliving old glories from Rio 2016. The Brooklyn Nets superstar finished his first season in New York and now will try to be the leader of the team that takes revenge after a failed tenure in China two years ago.
The 2x NBA champion is under big pressure right now, but KD enjoys that. He's used to it, and having so much talent around him indeed makes things easier. But, that doesn't mean the team won't see challenges during the Olympic tournament, even if they don't come from the outside.
Playing under Gregg Popovich is not easy, which KD is aware of. During the most recent edition of his "The ETCs" podcast, Durant explained how hard it is to play for a legendary coach like Pop (4:20).
“He has been good. Pop challenges you every day – your mentality, your IQ for the game. Physically he challenges you because the practices are tough. He likes to joke a lot too," Durant said, via The Sports Rush.
“If you’ve got a little wit to you, then I think you can survive playing under Pop. And it’s good to be around the guys that work with him too. Chip Engelland, Steve Kerr, they’ve all worked and been around Pop since decades.”
After a tough start to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for Team USA, reports suggested players aren't happy with Pop trying to implement his San Antonio Spurs offense on the national team. That didn't last too long as they won the tournament's second match, demolishing Iran 120-66.
Before the tournament, it was reported that playing for Coach Pop was a big motivation for these players. They came together in Tokyo, trying to win that gold medal, but the job won't be easy. The rest of the world will try to beat Team USA, but they're ready for that challenge.