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Sports Illustrator
07-24-2009, 01:02 PM
LAS VEGAS -- Pencil in Kevin Durant for a spot on the 2010 version of Team USA.

Better yet, put it in ink.

Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski singled out Durant and showered him with praise following the first day of a three-day mini-camp for a group of 20 young players trying to make the senior national team.

Durant was the most dominant player on the floor in the team's 12-minute scrimmage after the squad spent the bulk of Thursday's practice working on drills. Friday's practice was expected to be more focused on scrimmaging.

"Everyone who was watching from our group said you could tell that Durant was a little bit on a mission -- and that's good for them to see that, it picks everybody up," Krzyzewski said. "He's that versatility guy, and the other thing is he's a shooter, and with the way we were playing defense for most of the Olympics, with his length, he could be a heck of a defender.

"So he's really at the head of the list for me," Krzyzewski said.

Durant was given serious consideration for the 12th and final roster spot on the Redeem Team that won the gold medal in Beijing, part of a threesome that also included Tayshaun Prince and Tyson Chandler.

Prince ended up getting the spot, and eventually moved ahead of Carlos Boozer in the rotation.

Durant, along with Andre Iguodala and Jeff Green, is now back for his third consecutive summer of practices with the so-called Select Team, and his familiarity and comfort level with the Team USA system were superior to that of anyone else on the court Thursday. Others who caught the coaches' eyes included Rudy Gay, Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon and JaVale McGee, and several team insiders said they were surprised how spry Greg Oden looked.

Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo and the coaching staff are concentrating on three areas where they expect to have to fill out the roster -- a third point guard to play behind Deron Williams and Chris Paul; an extra big man with the combination of quickness, defensive intensity and shooting range to play inside or outside; and a Mr. Versatility who would have the ability to spell LeBron James at the power forward spot, Carmelo Anthony at small forward, and Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade at shooting guard.

Durant fits the bill for that third guy.

"The more versatile team you have, especially at 3 and 4, when they can do both that adds a lot because so many of the international players play away from the basket and are really perimeter players," Krzyzewski said. "And the big guys, we try to envision if we got all the guys back, who would complement the guys that we have.

"That's why I'm putting him at the head, because I know him the best, and then he comes out and he's terrific [in practice]. Plus his attitude and commitment, he's made a hell of a commitment each summer, three in a row."

Next summer will be No. 4 in a row, and from the sound of things, Durant can expect to have his passport stamped with a Turkish visa when Team USA heads overseas in 13 months to attempt to win the world championship for the first time since 1994.

From ESPN (http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=4352887)

He keeps showing more and more promise on the floor as the time goes by. He is turning into one of the most special players in the NBA. I am sure the OKC Thunder will win more games next year because of his improvement. Not to mention that he is learning how to be a good leader. I give my props to Kevin Durant for his hard work.

If Coach K is praising you, then you've got to be a special player. He doesn't say that about his Duke players or any other players unless he thinks the player will be a special player.

Kakaroach
07-24-2009, 01:07 PM
Yeah I think this just confirms the obvious that Durant will be playing for the U.S. team. He'll be a stud no doubt, all he has to do now is put on some weight. And yea anytime Coach K praises you, its a big deal.

jimbobjarree
07-24-2009, 01:08 PM
looks like the Blazers have done it again, drafting a dud center over a bonafied stud. KD looks like he's gunna be awesome

Hawkeye15
07-24-2009, 01:48 PM
I have always thought Durant is the next superstar. I think he moves into a top 5 player this year. The kid is sick

Thatruth32
07-24-2009, 01:53 PM
kid is hard

Trouble87
07-24-2009, 02:33 PM
good thing he's on our side... this is a real good look for Team USA

DaBUU
07-24-2009, 02:46 PM
My 3rd favorite player in the NBA already thanks to the NBA League Pass! Durant is awesome, dudes the truth. He'd look realy good alongside Roy in Portland...oops

NYtilIdie
07-24-2009, 02:54 PM
Durant is just nasty this kid is going to be a 30 ppg guy without a doubt. Imagine if he was built like Lebron damn now that would be crazy.

Fmartinez86
07-24-2009, 02:55 PM
yup KD is the man im glad the blazers took oden i wanted Durantula from the start but the thing about him is hes got all the skill in the world but the smallest ego to go with it hes just a big time humble team player and if he stays like that hes gonna something else

sp1derm00
07-24-2009, 02:57 PM
I'm fairly certain that one day, Durant will be just as dominant as Lebron.

The guy can shoot with the best of them, finish, grab boards, dish, and he's already a good defender.

omarz8
07-24-2009, 03:05 PM
this kid is amazing, top 3 in the nba for sure, the 2003 is so talked about this kid does not get enough credit but in a nab re-draft i would surely take this guy first overall, imagine if Portland drafted this kid instead of greg

RaiderLakersA's
07-24-2009, 03:10 PM
From ESPN (http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=4352887)

He keeps showing more and more promise on the floor as the time goes by. He is turning into one of the most special players in the NBA. I am sure the OKC Thunder will win more games next year because of his improvement. Not to mention that he is learning how to be a good leader. I give my props to Kevin Durant for his hard work.

If Coach K is praising you, then you've got to be a special player. He doesn't say that about his Duke players or any other players unless he thinks the player will be a special player.

How soon can we get him on the Lakers, and will it be before Kobe retires?

Kakaroach
07-24-2009, 03:16 PM
yup KD is the man im glad the blazers took oden i wanted Durantula from the start but the thing about him is hes got all the skill in the world but the smallest ego to go with it hes just a big time humble team player and if he stays like that hes gonna something else I think thats the key with Durant. He is very humble and he's got the talent to go with the smarts. He'll be an All-Star this season most likely.

Pornstar86
07-24-2009, 05:57 PM
this kid is amazing, top 3 in the nba for sure, the 2003 is so talked about this kid does not get enough credit but in a nab re-draft i would surely take this guy first overall, imagine if Portland drafted this kid instead of greg

so he's better than wade, kobe, lebron??? your nuts.....mayb in a couple years, but now, no way

S-Dot
07-24-2009, 05:59 PM
I played back with KD in elementary school and I must say he is going above and beyond the expectations I thought he would have at this point in his soon to be long career. He is going to be one of the greatest scorers this league has seen undoubtedly if he can continue to stay healthy and hungry to get better.

Baller1
07-24-2009, 06:42 PM
It feels good to know he's my favorite player on my favorite team.

S-Dot
07-24-2009, 06:44 PM
It feels good to know he's my favorite player on my favorite team.

I always wanted to know from a Thunder fan, do you honestly think he will stay in OKC or leave for a bigger market? I don't want to offend OKC fans, just curious.

WoodbridgeSkins
07-24-2009, 06:49 PM
I can see Durant being a top 3 MVP vote getter this season.

Naptownz_Finest
07-24-2009, 06:52 PM
Durant is a beast, he needs to put some weight on and he'll be unstoppable in 3-4 years.

Baller1
07-24-2009, 07:14 PM
I always wanted to know from a Thunder fan, do you honestly think he will stay in OKC or leave for a bigger market? I don't want to offend OKC fans, just curious.

I truly believe he will stay with the franchise, especially if they can keep the core 4 intact (Durant, Green, Westbrook, and Harden).

S-Dot
07-24-2009, 07:19 PM
I truly believe he will stay with the franchise, especially if they can keep the core 4 intact (Durant, Green, Westbrook, and Harden).

I believe/hope so too. Many people criticized the franchise move to OKC, and he is helping to eliminate that. I'm not sure if they will keep Jeff Green long term but Durant, Harden, and Westbrook are going to be a tough backcourt for years (I know KD plays the 3)

ko8e24
07-24-2009, 07:32 PM
Durantula!

jakesmail123
07-24-2009, 08:22 PM
KD is good and his thunder will be making a move in the west in a couple years.

Coach K = GREAT

MadBomber
07-24-2009, 10:46 PM
i love his game...he's silky smooth with a wicked jumper. boy got skills.

MAC10TIZZY
07-24-2009, 10:58 PM
im anxious to see him make the leap to all star

superkegger
07-24-2009, 11:08 PM
random observation on KD.

If you look at his face, and Michaels face early on in his career, they look a lot of like. It struck me the other night when I was watching The Jordan Tribute DVD. Obviously it's just in the face that they look similar, and it means nothing, just thought I'd share.

eldawg5417
07-24-2009, 11:13 PM
I got my Nike KD1 "Freeman Edition" signed by Durant today. They're all here in Vegas practicing at Valley High School and one of my boys got my shoes signed for me. I can't believe I was still able to pick him up in the 4th round of our fantasy basketball league (which I won by the way). He's a definite 1st round fantasy player for sure this time around. Here's a picture of the shoes:

http://twitpic.com/bhvf6

Baller1
07-25-2009, 01:20 AM
I believe/hope so too. Many people criticized the franchise move to OKC, and he is helping to eliminate that. I'm not sure if they will keep Jeff Green long term but Durant, Harden, and Westbrook are going to be a tough backcourt for years (I know KD plays the 3)

I agree. Also, I really, really hope Jeff Green stays. He is one of the most underrated players in the league. He plays for OKC so not a lot of people get to see him play, but I wish they could. This kid will be an all-star. I truly believe that.

willthethrill22
07-25-2009, 02:40 AM
If Durant can put on 20 pounds, in 4 years he will be the best in the game

Phxtoday
07-25-2009, 03:05 AM
I have always thought Durant is the next superstar. I think he moves into a top 5 player this year. The kid is sick

ummm.. no.. :confused:

kobe/lebron , wade, howard, and then id say its a toss up between 3 or 4 other players, (IMO chris paul) but i dont think anyone is ready to give durant the credit of a top 5 in the nba yet, IMO.
def top 10 though.:clap:

ItsTheLastAce
07-25-2009, 03:19 AM
it just amazes me that hes this good and he only has 2 yrs in the league under his belt. Im really excited to see how he progresses next season

J-Relo
07-25-2009, 03:45 AM
usa team would really help him to get to the next level

Beno7500
07-25-2009, 03:47 AM
Great for USA

BoltLakerPadre
07-25-2009, 04:38 AM
looks like the Blazers have done it again, drafting a dud center over a bonafied stud. KD looks like he's gunna be awesome

Sam Bowie!!!!

Can't remember who said it, but Kevin Durant is "15 lbs and two post moves from being offensively illegal".

dsickich123
07-25-2009, 02:05 PM
I am a huge fan of dURANT and the Thunder and I love seeing either one get praise...
Durant will be a top 5 NBA player without a doubt...
Next year I see him more top 10 (2nd best SF behind Lebron)
Then in 2011 he will enter the top five and stay in it for years to come...

Jay22Redd
07-25-2009, 02:29 PM
KD is one of my favorite players. He's young and can really score. He's just an exciting player to watch. Dude is a superstar in the making.

Corey
07-25-2009, 02:34 PM
Durant's great on offense, but he needs to make himself a better defender before he can legitimately be called a star.

Carey
07-25-2009, 02:50 PM
I think Durant will stay with OKC, he said in a recent interview that he loves the city, and that Sam Presti has been like a father figure to him, and we are a up and coming team and franchise, yeah its a small market but we have a owner who is commited to spending money, whether its the practice facilities, upgrades to the arena, and our team is commited to be a consistent contender.

lorenz00
07-25-2009, 07:29 PM
durant is too sick

JayW_1023
07-25-2009, 07:51 PM
He is one of the best pure scorers in the league...but to become an elite player he needs to round out his game...most notably on the defensive end.

He reminds me of the Iceman, George Gervin.

yankeefan54
07-25-2009, 08:04 PM
i love him so much i think hes better than that jerk kobe

what54!?
07-25-2009, 08:30 PM
yea Durant has become one of my favorite players in the leauge. Dude is just a stud and still so young

GSW fan
07-25-2009, 10:03 PM
Definetly goin on my fantasy team this year

Sports Illustrator
07-25-2009, 11:09 PM
Definetly goin on my fantasy team this year

He will definitely be even more valuable than he was last season. Not too much his scoring, but may be getting more assists as well as more defensive statistics. His rankings should be up as well.

Aside from fantasy basketball, he should really have an impressive season. I predict that he'll do much better this season and will just keep on improving as time goes along.