Durant to lead Team USA into Rio


By Michael Kinney

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant is a man of his word. Even as other high profile NBA players dropped their names for consideration to play in the Rio Summer Olympics, Durant said over and over that he would be making the trip.

It became official Monday morning when USA Basketball released the names of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team and Durant was right at the top of the 12-player list.

It’s an honor to be a part of this. #UNITE #USABMNT,” Durant posted to a social media site.

This will be Durant’s second trip to the Olympic games. In 2012 he was the team’s leading scorer at 19.5 ppg as he helped the squad claim the Gold Medal.

The rest of the roster has 10 first timers to the Olympic experiences. They includes Harrison Barnes, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, Draymond Green, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson.

“It is an honor to represent my country in the Olympics,” Jordan said. “I am excited to begin the process of bringing home a gold medal to the United States.”

Only Durant and Carmelo Anthony have played in the Olympics before.

Olympic competition in Rio de janeiro, Brazil begins Aug. 5 and runs through the 21st.

“I think I can speak for the entire coaching staff and say we’re extremely excited about the team we will field for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro,” said Jerry Colangelo, managing director of the USA Men’s National Team. “I love our depth, which is another indication of the depth of talent our national team program is blessed with. We’ve got a great mix of talent, scorers, past gold medal winners and outstanding youth.”

Durant will prepare for the Olympics as he goes through a free agency period where he is the most sought after player on the market. According to reports, once free agency begins July 1, he will have meetings with the Thunder, the Golden State Warriors, the San Antonio Spurs, the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics and the L.A. Clippers.

Michael Kinney is a freelance writer and can be reached at Eyeamtruth@gmail.com

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