Chris Sheridan wrote a pretty fantastic piece about KD being the face of USA basketball this year. It highlights Durant’s team first mentality, his humbleness, but also his drive to win gold.
Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski calls him the only player guaranteed to make the final cut. USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo says he will be the face of the American team throughout the summer of 2010.
Kevin Durant is having none of it. At least, so he claims.
“I doubt I’m the next face; I’m just another guy helping to bring a gold back to the U.S. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” Durant said on what turned out to be a rough first day of minicamp for Team USA.
“I can’t do the same here as I did for Oklahoma City,” he said. “Got to tone it down a little more, sacrifice a little bit more, but I’m willing to do that. I can’t wait to do that and be a leader. There wasn’t one guy on that last team that was the same as he was on his NBA team. Kobe wasn’t. LeBron wasn’t. D-Wade. Everybody changed, and I’m happy to be a part of the same thing here.
“Hopefully it works out and I make the team.”
This whole experience is going to make KD a better player. He’s already a team player and selfishness has never been an issue, but KD is the de facto leader of this squad. He’s figured out how to just sort of fit in with the Thunder and lead by being the best player on the team, but with Team USA, players are going to be looking to him to hit the big shot. He’s going to be playing outside of his comfort zone and he’s going to have to adapt. Nobody comes back from international play a worse player, so the fact Durant is so committed is only going to be a good thing.