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Nets star Kevin Durant’s real reason for joining Team USA in Tokyo Olympics

Nets, Kevin Durant, Team USA

Kevin Durant’s decision to join Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics shocked a lot of people, especially since he was just a year off from his Achilles injury and only recently finished his first season  with the Brooklyn Nets.

When you consider that he also played in just 35 games during the 2020-21 campaign due to various injuries and health reasons, there was enough reason to believe he would decline the invitation to play for Team USA–no matter how much begging or crying Gregg Popovich would have done to convince him play.

However, Durant did not make it difficult for Coach Pop and everyone on Team USA at all, even after he suffered a heartbreaking loss with the Nets in the 2021 playoffs. And apparently, KD has a perfectly legitimate reason for doing so: he wants to play and keep is mind and body in competitive shape.

“Every chance that I can get that I’m healthy and my mind’s in the right place to play basketball, I’m going to go out there and play,” Durant said, per Joe Vardon and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. “Finished the year off healthy, the regular season and the playoffs, so I felt it would be cool to get, I guess, a kickstart on next season by getting in shape a little earlier in the summer with Team USA.”

Of course, there will always be risks of injuries in any sport. That is part of the game, anyway. However, credit should be given to Kevin Durant for the mentality he has when it comes to playing basketball and suiting up for the country.

While some players in his position would have opted out–considering he has nothing left to prove with two Olympic golds and all-time scoring record for Team USA–Durant still chose to play and sacrifice the precious rest and vacation time he has after a long  and grueling season.

It might seem risky and unnecessary for some, but it only goes to show the Mamba-like mentality KD has. Hopefully, it leads to another gold for USA.