Team USA star Kevin Durant fires back at haters after brutal losses to Nigeria, Australia
Team USA suffered two brutal losses to Nigeria and Australia to start their exhibition slate before finally getting a win against Argentina. Star Kevin Durant told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes he isn’t concerned about the early struggles and that “the s*** people are saying doesn’t bother” him.
Durant thinks the losses need to be placed in the proper context. While Team USA didn’t actually expect to lose these games, KD says there are perfectly reasonable explanations for these early struggles ahead of the Olympics:
“We’re a team that’s still coming together and trying to find our identity,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “We have so many great players that you can play so many different ways, and we are indecisive at times on defense and offense. In the midst of us figuring it out, these teams are established and they’re running their sets. We’re working on our sets. The stars were kind of aligned for us to lose early on.”
Durant is confident that Team USA will figure things out in time:
“It’s easy to say that after two losses without any context,” Durant tells Yahoo Sports. “Let’s just go down the roster of each team and you can find the answer. If you’re looking for NBA talent, those teams have it. Understand where we’re at as a team and then you can make assumptions for yourself. We do have all the best players in the league, but these national teams have NBA players, too, who are now No. 1 options and they’re used to playing that role internationally. We’re still adjusting as a team, and that’s not making excuses. There’s a lot of context people need to understand. We didn’t expect to lose a game, but losing games happen. We’ll get it right.”
There’s a good chance this turns out to be correct, but Team USA facing more adversity than just some early exhibition struggles on the court. Bradley Beal is going to miss the Olympics because of health and safety protocols, and Jerami Grant just entered the protocols as well.
Either way, Kevin Durant is going to have to be the star of the show to lead the Americans to a fourth straight gold medal. There’s still plenty of talent on this roster, and they’ll be tough to beat if they start clicking.