NBA stars dom­i­nate on the cou

The Myanmar Times - - Olympics -

KEVIN Du­rant re­calls the heartache of watch­ing the 2008 US Olympic team win Be­jing gold with­out him, so he has vowed to make the most of his chance for a golden re­peat at Rio.

Du­rant scored 25 points and made a game-high six as­sists on Au­gust 6 as the United States’ col­lec­tion of NBA stars routed China 119-62 in a pre­lim­i­nary round Group A opener.

“KD is KD, man. He’s one of the best play­ers in the world,” said US coach Mike Krzyzewski. “And he’s play­ing de­fense. It’s pretty nice to have that.”

Du­rant’s ded­i­ca­tion comes af­ter he missed out on the 2008 squad dubbed the “Re­deem Team” af­ter the 2004 team set­tled for bronze in Athens, los­ing three times.

Du­rant played on the 2012 US Olympic gold medal squad but this time has a clear star­ring role on a team with 10 Olympic debu­tantes, six of them in their first in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment.

“It’s just hav­ing USA across my chest,” Du­rant said. “Not too many peo­ple get this op­por­tu­nity so I just want to try to take ad­van­tage of it and get a gold medal.”

As the US team goes for a third con­sec­u­tive gold and a sev­enth in eight tries with NBA tal­ent, Du­rant re­fuses to com­pare lega­cies such as the orig­i­nal 1992 “Dream Team”.

“Each legacy is dif­fer­ent,” Du­rant said.

A US Olympic free throw record fell as the Amer­i­cans made 33-of-45 from the line, eclips­ing the old mark of 32 made from the record 46 at­tempts in a 1960 vic­tory over Italy.

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