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United States national basketball team, Basketball, Olympic Games, Gregg Popovich, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Kevin Durant winning the Gold Medal for Kobe, dreams of playing for Gregg Popovich

You obviously have nothing left to prove as a player. Why was this team? Why was the idea of playing for this team so compelling to you why’d, you decide to do it um i felt like i was uh. I mean i committed to usa basketball when i was coming out of college every chance that i get that i’m. You know that i’m healthy and you know mine’s in the right place, to play basketball and go out there and play so i think i you know, i finished the year off um healthy on the regular season and playoffs. So i felt like it’d be cool to get. I guess a kick start on on next season by getting in shape a little earlier in the summer with team usa. So i look forward to just being around the best players in the world and around the best athletes as well. So i just wanted to take in the experience as a quick follow kevin playing for pop. How much does that matter to you? How much does that matter to guys in general? Thank you. It mattered a lot. You know uh. I was a dream of mine to play for coach k and it was always been a dream to learn under coach pop as well. You know he’s somebody, a great staff, too that’s been coaching himself every day and i’ve been enjoying in the lives, so he was a definitely one of the main factors in me.

Making this decision to you know continue to play for team usa and along with mr colangelo as well so it’s a it’s been a fun a few days at camp. So far, next up will be nick schiffer and then we’ll go to uh nick hamilton, hey kevin. I asked you after game: seven uh, you know what’s next for you when you would said you, you weren’t planning on losing the box and you weren’t sure, just how quickly did team usa on your radar after the season ended and how quickly was it for you To decide with all this, it was on the radar before play. Also, i mean having a couple of conversations before pop and this calendar the last couple of years, um preparing for this and once uh pop got the um. You know job as the coach uh we’ve been having conversations here and there and they also respected my time and space. If i didn’t want to come, they wouldn’t have pressured me. So you know i really felt like they made. They helped me make this decision by just letting me be me and and uh. Let me make that decision on my time and you know but it’s been on my radar for a second and hamilton go ahead and then we’ll go yoko, hey kevin, nick hamilton, nightcast media uh. I wanted to ask you: you talked about playing with some of the best book with the best players in the world uh.

What have you learned from guys like jayson, tatum and bradley bill, and what have they learned from you, where you guys can be that cohesive unit moving forward, um more so we’re coaching from all of us? I mean we know each other’s games inside and out and got a number of respect for every player and what they’ve been through in their journeys. Up to this point, but it’s on uh popped his established roles and and and sets and defensive schemes, and we got to abide by him and i think everybody’s here is bought in to what we’re trying to do and uh. We want to go out there and you know capture this goal so whatever he needs us to do. We’Re all adaptable players that pretty much play multiple positions so we’re, looking forward to the challenge of um, you know figuring out this chemistry and keep growing from here. Music yeah uh kevin. This is your community of sports graphic number, japan uh. I have two quick questions. One this is this gon na, be your first time visiting japan and uh two. Is there any chance that you’re gon na be reconnected with taishi when you’re over there, even with this restriction um? This is my first time in japan and um. I was definitely looking forward to connecting with tai shi tai shi’s. My point guard my senior year in high school. We got really tight. We lived together my senior year so looking forward to uh, you know taking in his culture and meeting his people for the first time, but we’ll see what i mean there’s a lot of stuff going on with covet over there.

So i want to be um. Definitely be cautious with what i’m doing but uh, hopefully if it’s in the you know, if it’s in the cars right, you know, i can go out there and and visit them and take in the culture in japan so we’ll see. Thank you, y’all go ahead and then we’ll go to casey hold on hey kevin albans with wrhuffman over in new york. So this is obviously the first olympics since kobe bryant’s passing. So i want to ask whether it’s for you personally or the team, how is kobe fueling this olympic run, for you guys said it. I said the last part. I could hear sorry whether it’s for you personally or the team, how is kobe’s passing fueling this olympic run for you guys, especially with you being one of his former teammates on tv with that yeah i mean kobe. Bryant is a guy that all of us looked up to and watched as kids, and even when he was alive and playing his dna was embedded in us as players. You know he kind of uh. You know from afar taught us. You know what the game is about, what work ethic is about, and you know we all kind of pulled from him. You know when he was playing when he was alive and now that you know he’s not with us no more um. We all. We all want to honor his teachings by going out there and playing uh with that passion.

With that energy, every single play and guys that had close relationships, um would unders. You know understand. You know how he will approach every single day, especially with team usa. He really, he really took. You know pride in being a part of this group and a part of his team, and you know we all feed off a few off of that type of energy and kobe always brought that so he’s always big to every one of us. Here we miss him. We miss him dearly because he will be here supporting us and just a quick follow up bouncing off that. How much more would winning this gold medal be? Knowing everything you just said, uh it’s going to be important for a multitude of reasons and that’s. Definitely one of those you know we got so many. You know quote unquote kobe disciples in here who learned from so long and who has relationships with him. We want to, you, know, go out there and want to go just like he did so looking forward to it. Thank you, casey you’re up and then we’ll go to brian lewis, uh kevin. I was wondering uh. Could you talk about playing with damian, lillard and uh during the playoffs you had tweeted out during one of his games versus the the nuggets uh that it was a spiritual experience, so i’m curious one? Can you talk about playing with damian too? What makes basketball reach the level of a spiritual experience, um yeah i’m, looking forward to playing with dang.

Damn is a unique player, pretty much get hot in a matter of seconds. He can uh. You know, put pressure on the defense so easily. You know and looking forward to that, shooting ability and being out there with that um and what i meant by that is just you know the the level of skill that he displayed. That night uh only shows me that he put in hours and hours of work and when you putting that and that much work you know you isolated like he is. I can tell he likes working out by himself, then you know you go to another level mentally. He was there that night. Thank you, ryan, you’re up and then we’ll go back to amari, hey dude, how you doing um quick, two parter um team, usa rookies are not like you know: nba rookies, i mean they’re already stars, but i mean pop has talked a lot about your leadership in Camp i’m just curious a what kind of messaging have you been giving a lot of the guys in camp about you know, taking every game seriously and not looking past anybody and secondly, on a little side note you guys are hiring meaning the nets hiring david’s vanderpool. Do you remember him from your okc days or since he was off the court, you don’t really. Have you never really had that much to deal with? Oh your first question about my leadership style um. What i’m telling the guys i mean pop and the coaching staff is taking control of all of that telling us what we need to do.

Uh you know preparing us for the physicality over there. Just everything and it’s i mean each one of us are talking up when we need to you know. If we make a mistake on a play or something like that, i mean i feel, like everybody – has that vocal uh we’re, showing that vocal leadership, but more so than anything. You know everybody here wants to prove who they are through the action, so it might not. Might not be a lot of words being spoken, but guys are going extremely hard. Every possession um as far as they um yeah. Of course i mean that’s family. I mean from the same area. I’M from you know the same people. You know mutual family friends. So you know work with them in okc. You know so i can’t wait to to have them on board i’m looking forward to learning from them and uh, you know bringing them into the family. So you know can’t wait finish up with two more kevin uh amari. You’Re up and then it will go to kiko hi kevin emily peter you’re, a french newspaper. You keep uh you’re going to play the timothy for your first game in japan. Did you guys already talk about it? Maybe trash talk about it and, more generally, do you think it’s a good thing that you’ll be playing the french team for your olympic opener yeah i can’t wait. I mean i i’ve definitely talked my tlc a couple times about how he can’t guard me and how i lock him up on defense.

So you know i can’t wait to talk more when i see him um. You know with this with his national team, so uh that’s gon na be a it’s gon na be a great battle. We got a few nba players on that team that we all know – and you know, we’re looking forward to that challenge finish up europe. Thank you. Very much hi kevin um hi. My name is akiko yamawaki from kyoto, news, japan, the olympic olympic will be held without spectators. That would be a different from those two times um. What do you think about it? I was definitely disappointed once i heard that, but i understand you know we don’t wan na you know i mean we already pushed the games back a year, so we don’t wan na you know cause any more trouble with kovish. So i understand um, but it brings a different energy. When you see the crowd, you know fans from all over the world, supporting their teams and their countries, and you know that’s going to be the part that um it’s going to sting a bit but it’s still an honor and a pleasure.

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United States national basketball team, Basketball, Olympic Games, Gregg Popovich, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Kevin Durant Jayson Tatum and Gregg Popovich on Team USA's Loss to Nigeria | Post-Game Interview

United States national basketball team, Basketball, Olympic Games, Gregg Popovich, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Kevin Durant A Men's Basketball Team's post-game presser after a 90-87 loss to Nigeria