Kevin Durant is a basketball superstar whose commitment to Team USA has never wavered. As he attempts to lead the U.S. men’s team to a fourth successive Olympic championship in Tokyo, Durant has the opportunity to claim his third gold medal – and write himself into the history books in the process.

The United States’ men’s basketball team got off to somewhat of a rough start in their preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, losing two of their three exhibition games. But in Kevin Durant – a two-time Olympic gold medallist and NBA champion – they possess one of the preeminent stars in world basketball.

However, the U.S. team that is heading to Tokyo – while jam-packed with elite NBA talent – is limited in Olympic experience, with only three players (including Durant) having competed at past Games.

And if Team USA are going to make good on their unofficial title of Olympic favourites and secure a fourth consecutive gold medal in Tokyo, Durant will have to use all his skill and experience of international basketball to lead the USA to glory.

The challenge, while great, is one the future Hall of Famer is well-suited for.

When USA Basketball announced the 12-man roster for Tokyo 2020, Durant’s name stood out from his teammates – who themselves are exceptional players in their own right.

Since entering the NBA as the no.2 pick in the 2007 draft, Durant has become a paragon of basketball excellence. In addition to winning back-to-back championships as a member of the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018 (winning Finals MVP on both occasions), Durant is an 11-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, six-time All-NBA First Team selection, the 2008 NBA Rookie of the Year and the 2014 NBA MVP.

While the 2020-21 season ended in disappointment for Durant as his Brooklyn Nets were eliminated from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the multi-dimensional 208cm (6’10”) guard/forward put up an impressive stat line of 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game (all while shooting 53.7 per cent from the field and 45.0 per cent from three).

His performance this past campaign has been quite the accomplishment, considering Durant only returned to action 18 months after undergoing surgery for a ruptured Achilles tendon, which he suffered during Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals.

Evidently, Durant is back to playing at a world-class level just in time for the Olympic Games. –

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