It didn’t take long for Kevin Durant and James Harden to map out their summer arrangements.
A day after Brooklyn was eliminated from the postseason following the Game 7 loss to the Bucks, Shams Charania reported Durant is expected to commit to playing for Team USA for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The Games start in a month.
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is expected to commit to Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics this summer, sources tell me and @anthonyVslater. Durant averaged 34.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists over 12 games this postseason.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 20, 2021
On Monday. Shams reported that Harden is committed as well.
Nets star James Harden has committed to play for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics, joining teammate Kevin Durant on the USAB squad, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Kyrie Irving is unlikely to play as he recovers from his ankle injury.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 21, 2021
If Durant commits to playing for Team USA, it will be his third consecutive trip to the Olympics. The Nets superstar played for the Men's national team at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2016 Olympics Games, winning gold medals. Prior to the two, Durant played in the 2010 FIBA World Championship — winning his first gold medal — and MVP award. He was also named to the five-member 2010 All-World Championship Team.
Outside of his three gold medals and those two honors, Durant was also selected as the 2016 USA Basketball Co-Male Athlete of the Year and the 2010 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.
Over the course of his national team career, Durant is a perfect 39-0 record and has appeared in 45 games — including intrasquad exhibitions (5-1). He holds averages of 19.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 53.1 percent from the field and 48.6 percent from three to go with 88.3 percent at the foul line.
A third gold medal would tie him with Carmelo Anthony for most men’s basketball golds. Only one Net, Deron Williams in 2012, won a gold for Team USA while a member of the organization. Jeff Turner, drafted by the Nets in 1984, won a gold that summer.
“I think Kevin as I said before, it’s very difficult to turn down playing for your country,” said Sean Marks who was a member of New Zealand’s national team. “Having that opportunity is like none other so I think Kevin knows this. Kevin knows that if his body feels right and if he’s up for the task, what a great opportunity to go and play alongside a lot of his close friends and go and have a very, very unique experience.”
Harden was a member of the national team that won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, and was also a member of the team that won the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2014. Harden was a candidate for the 2016 Olympics, but he withdrew.
Including Durant and Harden, Brooklyn had a total of six players in the Team USA preliminary player pool — Irving, Joe Harris, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. In addition, two other national teams could include players from this year’s Nets team. Spencer Dinwiddie has committed to Nigeria and Timothe Luawau-Cabarrot to France. Two of the Nets international stashes will be alternates for France (Isaia Cordinier) and Argentina (Juan Pablo Vaulet.) Neither will travel to Japan as alternates.
Shams reports Irving will continue to rehab his sprained ankle and miss the Olympics.!
The Olympics will run from July 23 through August 8.
- Kevin Durant to commit to Team USA for Tokyo Olympics - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kevin Durant’s Olympics decision isn’t as crazy as it seems - Ian O’Connor - New York Post
- Kevin Durant, James Harden commit to playing for Team USA at Tokyo Olympics - Greg Logan - Newsday
- AP source: Harden commits to US Olympic men’s team for Tokyo - Tim Reynolds - AP