Team USA basketball had what many felt was a rocky start to their Tokyo Olympics journey but they were able to right the ship and the proper interval. On the back of the heroic and dominant play of Kevin Durant, Team USA bested a talented Team France team to capture its 16th gold medal overall and its fourth consecutive gold medal win.
While Team USA was triumphant in the end, it wasn’t a guarantee as the international game has grown and the NBA currently plays host to a number of stars from other nations who joined with their national teams. The group assembled by Coach Gregg Popovich may not have been the most talented bunch fans have seen, but they were gritty and determined not to break Team USA’s streak of gold medal wins.
Kevin Durant has been the team leader for Team USA, and his play has been heralded as expected. The Prince George’s County, Md. native was brilliant, just as he was in the. NBA playoffs earlier this year. Durant’s spectacular play and poise is something that was expected by Coach Popovich, and Durant’s willingness to do all for his team garnered praise from his teammates even though he continually tried to shine the light on the team.
“KD is not special because he’s so talented. The way he works on his game is more impressive,” Popovich said. “The relationship he builds with teammates, the respect he garners, the joy he has in playing, it’s like osmosis. It goes into all the players.”
Durant, who just signed a massive $198 million extension with the Brooklyn Nets, exhibited class in his comments after the game.
“This is one of those special journeys,” Durant said. “When you’re a part of a team that’s evolving by the second, it’s amazing to see. Each game we continued to grow. I’m grateful we all committed to it, we stuck with it and we finished it off.”
Amen to that.
Congrats to Team USA and check out the reactions from Twitter below.