It was a subtle message from Kevin Durant. Nothing flashy. Nothing in your face. Just simple and low-key, but with a very strong point. With KD, would you expect any different?
Against Russia, Durant simply wrote “1972” on the tops of both his sneakers. It wasn’t anything flashy, but it was certainly classy. If you don’t know, yesterday was the 38-year anniversary of the infamous 1972 gold medal game featuring the then USSR against the United States. And guess who Team USA faced yesterday in the quarterfinals of the World Championships. It wasn’t actually the USSR, but it pretty much was. (If you don’t know what happened in that game, read this and then watch this. It’ll explain everything.)
I thought the always eloquent Kelly Dwyer put it well:
Not only does it remind me of how proud I am to be an American, but it should remind followers from all nations in this tournament that being part of a team can be a pretty special thing. Whether you’re a member of Team USA at one point, CCCP, the Russian team, or a squad that didn’t even exist in the 1988 Olympics (which took place the month Kevin Durant was born), it hardly matters. You’re a teammate for life, and I appreciated Durant’s little message to his teammates.