USA NATIONAL TEAM
Following an inspired run through the NBA postseason, the league's three-time reigning scoring champion will put the heartbreak of a finals defeat behind him as he focuses on the pursuit of gold in London. Durant has certainly shown his dedication to USA Basketball in recent years. While many 2008 Olympic standouts like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade skipped the 2010 world championships, Durant led the Americans to their first gold medal at the event since 1994 and was named tournament MVP. He set a U.S. record for the event by averaging 22.8 points - more than twice as much as any teammate - while shooting 55.6 percent from the field. Durant was at his best when it mattered most, averaging 33.0 points in the final three games, and was later named USA Basketball’s male athlete of the year. Though Durant was considered the most talented player in the U.S. camp during training for the worlds, the only real complaint coach Mike Krzyzewski had was that he was being too unselfish - a trait which could bode well with an upgraded roster for London. Durant even played at the U.S. minicamp in the summer of 2009 despite there being no major competition that year. He nearly made the 2008 Olympic team following his NBA Rookie of the Year campaign - he was among the final cuts leading up to the 2007 worlds - but did play for the U.S. Select Team which scrimmaged against the Olympic squad. Durant has become a much more dangerous threat from the outside since then - he tied for third in the NBA with 133 3-pointers last season - but remains among the world’s best at getting to the basket. His leadership skills also appear to have improved, as he led the Oklahoma City Thunder to playoff appearances the last three seasons, including a trip to the finals - where they lost 4-1 to Miami - in June. A first-team All-NBA selection the past three years and MVP runner-up in 2010 and '12, Durant played in a New York summer league game shortly after the NBA locked out its players and scored a record 66 points at Harlem’s famous Rucker Park.
Krzyzewski ending tenure as US coach
After leading the United States to two Olympic gold medals, Mike Krzyzewski is ending his tenure with US national team.
Colangelo clarifies D-Will remarks
Jerry Colangelo said Saturday he never said Deron Williams was unfit to play in the Olympics, only that the point guard wasn't in great shape when the US men's basketball team began training last summer.
Taurasi wins athlete of the year
Diana Taurasi has been chosen USA Basketball's female athlete of the year for 2012 after leading the Americans to a fifth straight Olympic gold medal.
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