As I’ve mentioned before, the NBA is a star-driven league. The best players are always the ones with the brightest futures. If a player wants to sign with a certain team, they can’t be faulted for doing so. If Kevin Durant and the Warriors decide they want to keep the team together, they aren’t doing anything wrong…right?
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Kevin Durant made a bold statement: that he needs to hire another superstar because the Warriors are now too dependent on one player. The implication, of course, is that if he adds another star, he will be able to take his team to the next level. While the Warriors may need another player, Durant is the only one that matters.
Speaking of recruiting, the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant came to New York to recruit New York Knicks’ Paul George, who was with the Oklahoma City Thunder at the time. The general consensus was that the GSW-OKC super team wasn’t really fair, since OKC had just traded George for George’s brother, Victor Oladipo, who was a few years younger than PG-13. (I’m pretty sure the younger George isn’t any better than his older brother, but OKC had a lot more cap space.). Read more about where is kevin durant from and let us know what you think.The Brooklyn Nets developed a plan and executed it. They signed Kyrie Irving in July 2019 and traded Kevin Durant the next day, even though they knew the Golden State Warriors forward would miss the season. The most recent figure is James Harden, who was acquired by the Houston Rockets last January.
The formation of a super team has produced the desired results in the regular season: An improvement of 13 games in the standings, although the Big Three lost a lot of time during the season.
It was clear that not qualifying for the semifinals of the NBA’s Eastern Conference was not part of the plan. But Durant quickly put his frustration aside to focus on building another great team.
Unlike the Nets, who caused discontent by not building a team from within, this is a team that 300 million Americans will support.
Chris Middleton, left, and Kevin Durant, right, will represent the United States in the men’s basketball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics. | Steven Ryan/Getty Images
Durant has missed 26 of 27 games in the middle of the NBA season and has DNP’d in more than half of the Nets’ games. Still, he showed his talent in the playoffs, averaging 34.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in 12 games in Brooklyn.
Considering he missed all of last season (the end of which was delayed due to a pandemic) to recover from an Achilles injury, Durant probably has the freshest legs of any NBA player heading to Tokyo in less than a month. If there’s anyone on the incredibly talented US national team who will be on the field for 30 minutes a day starting in late July, it’s him.
Durant, 32, has won gold medals before with Team USA, in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He was part of the team assembled by manager Jerry Colangelo and coach Gregg Popovich, but he took on a role beyond player.
Durant and Portland Trail Blazers hero Damian Lillard have accepted invitations, though it’s doubtful they can host the Olympics during the pandemic. However, ESPN reports that their involvement goes beyond expected points, rebounds and assists. The website reported that Durant and Lillard are entering the draft to help build the team.
This is no mean feat, as many big names have refused to play in Tokyo. Among them are LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and guard Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz. They all suffered the wear and tear of two NBA seasons compressed into a short period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the report, Durant and Lillard convinced Popovich to consider Jerami Grant, knowing how much the Detroit Pistons forward covets the award. They have also contacted Bradley Beal and Devin Booker, who have not yet made a decision.
Lillard has been busy convincing Draymond Green and Jason Tatum that the team needs them and that the restrictions of the COVID-19 precautions will not keep U.S. national team players from enjoying the game.
With him, Popovic is preparing for the matches from 10 to 13 July. against Nigeria, Australia and Argentina :
- Bam Adebayo, forward/center, Miami Heat
- Bradley Beal, quarterback, Washington Wizards.
- Devin Booker, guard, Phoenix Suns.
- Kevin Durant, forward, Brooklyn Nets.
- Jerami Grant, forward, Detroit Pistons
- Draymond Green, Forward/Center, Golden State Warriors
- Jrue Holiday, quarterback, Milwaukee Bucks.
- Zach LaVine, quarterback, Chicago Bulls.
- Damian Lillard, defender, Portland Trail Blazers
- Kevin Love, Forward/Center, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Chris Middleton, forward, Milwaukee Bucks
- Jason Tatum, forward, Boston Celtics
In theory, there’s still room for change, especially since the NBA playoffs can stretch into the days after the opening game in Tokyo. Nonetheless, Popovich’s U.S. roster looks solid at the moment, despite the inclusion of players with Olympic experience in Durant, Green (2016) and Kevin Love (2012).
It’s not the Dream Team, but it’s certainly a great team.
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COMPARED TO: Chris Bosh suddenly said the Big Three of him, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade would lose to Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving
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