Kevin Durant is the leader of the Oklahoma City Thunder without question. Not only is he the reigning NBA scoring champion, but he's the unquestioned heart and soul on an elite team loaded with other stars. However on Team USA, Durant plays a very different role. Even though he's one of the team's leading scorers, he's having to learn from guys much more experienced than he is.
"I'm on him constantly," said Chris Paul. "He's still a young guy, so to speak, and he's such a good dude that he's not going to try to come in here and take over or anything like that. And I don't blame him. Everybody wants to fit in when you first get on this team. But because of who he is and what he can do for this team, he doesn't have that luxury. And that's just the way it is."
Durant reflected on the change recently, but his do-whatever-it-takes attitude stays the same no matter where he plays or who he plays with.
"It's different, there's no doubt about it," Durant said. "I'm just trying to do what I always do and that's help my team win games. I'm not worried about anything more than that. I'm here to win a gold medal and whatever my team needs to me to do to get that done, I'll do it."
It's clear that everyone around him sees Durant as a very special talent and player despite the high-caliber of everyone on the roster.
"Kevin really has displayed for all of USA Basketball the proper sequence of being involved," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "First, by being on a select team, then by being involved, helping others, then you learn about the international game that way. He is only 23, he is not only a great player now, he has a great future ahead of him. He is as important as anyone we have."