Kevin Durant, in Saitama, Japan, led the Team towards gold. The Team had a rocky start in the Olympics. The Team lost to the Nigerian Team that ranked 22nd in the FIBA Cup Qualifiers with 90-87.
Team USA’s bad streak did not end there, as they were beaten by the Australian Team and Team France 83-76. They did win against Argentina, Iran (120-66), Czech Republic (119-84), Spain (95-81) and Australia (97-78), and gave a small glimpse of how everyone expected them to play.
Perhaps, the Team at the beginning was still familiarizing themselves with each other. There were new players in the Team, and the Team hadn’t yet synced.
On top of that, the Team lost two great players, Bradley Beal and Kevin Love. Bradley is being replaced because of COVID-19 protocols and Kevin for his long-lasting injury. JaVale McGee replaced Bradley at the center, and Keldon Johnson took forward.
The challenges that the Team faced made experts doubt whether the Team would win in Tokyo Olympics.
However, on Friday, August 7, 2021, Kevin Durant, led the Team to its fourth-straight Olympic gold. The game itself was full of highs and lows. Team USA had a slow start but taking a four-point lead and ending the quarter 22-18 over France.
At halftime, the Team led yet again with 44-39. The captain, Kevin Durant, was the lead scorer in the second half, and the Team seemed to have resolved the problems they faced earlier.
Jrue Holiday, Tatum and Damian Lillard also had an outstanding performances in the game. France’s Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert played hard, but team USA ended the game at 87-82 – a win that was received with much excitement.
And to those that doubted, Durant had this to say, “A lot of people said it was going to be hard to win…but we came together and finished it off.”
As the Team leaves for home with gold, it is the Team’s fourth-straight Olympic gold and the 16th gold in Olympian basketball history.