Kevin Durant is ready to lead Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics after a failed FIBA World Cup in Spain two years ago. USA Basketball has a lot of pressure on their shoulders entering this tournament.
Although they brought high-profile names to Tokyo, the team didn't convince people during preparation games, losing two matches against Nigeria and Australia, respectively. The real competition will start this Sunday, and Durant wants to send a message to the rest of the teams with a win over France.
He's the leader of the team, trying to inspire the young guns as other legends did with him. Recently, KD opened up on his first stint with Team USA, in 2007. He had the chance to play alongside Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, saving great memories from those times.
“I’m playing against the best players, but I was playing with the best players, too,” said Kevin Durant on his 2007 stint with Team USA, via Clutch Points. "Kobe was on my team so he made life way easier for me. Being introduced to that elite level of basketball before I played a game. Being on the court with LeBron, Kobe, Melo, guys that played my position and the best in the league at the time, I felt real confident in who I was and where I was going.”
“I didn’t believe I was one of those guys, but I believed that I could actually be on the court and not f–k up with them.”
14 years later, he's the veteran trying to take this team to the promised land. He won the gold medal in 2016, and KD isn't trying to get less than that. Team USA has a lot to prove this tournament after that terrible 2019.
It's time to step up and show why they're the best team in international basketball. Of course, they'll have dangerous rivals on their way to the gold. Still, this team is capable of winning this competition without any problems.