NBA stars dominate on the cou
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.