Kobe Bryant has a chance to be a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, even though he is not attending Team USA’s minicamp this week, USA Basketball Executive Director Jerry Colangelo told SheridanHoops Tuesday. “If he had a great year, it would be a great story for him to try to close out his career by winning a gold medal,” Colangelo said.
July 26, 2016 | 6:48 pm EDT Update
“If you like basketball. If you enjoy basketball,” Durant said. “But if you enjoy the drama and everything that comes around, the narratives, the comparisons and the rankings, obviously, it’s going to be like a TV show to you. If you enjoy pure basketball, like I enjoy it, then it don’t matter who is playing. You’re going to want to watch good basketball. If you enjoy basketball in its purest form, you can appreciate how far our league has come and the great players in our league. But if you enjoy all that [expletive] that comes from the outside, then you’ll love the boos and the tweets and the first takes and all that. I love basketball and I love whoever loves the game in its purest form.”
With Green and Klay Thompson on the Olympic squad, Durant will get a nearly one month head start on developing chemistry before training camp, though their time on the floor hadn’t even registered in Team USA’s opening exhibition win against Argentina on July 22. But many wonder how Durant will connect with reigning unanimous MVP Stephen Curry, the only player Durant trailed in player efficiency rating last season. “I’ll figure that out when we get there,” Durant said. “When you have two players who love to play the game, enjoy winning, enjoy teamwork and camaraderie – obviously, it’s going to be a transition, but everything new has a transition. It will be all right.”
“Right after the KD decision happened, I texted everyone individually something special to them whatever it was, whatever my relationship was with them,” Barnes recently told The Undefeated. “I didn’t want to do the cliché, ‘I’m out guys.’ I wanted to text each person individually and tell them that we are family and how much they meant to me.”
Durant said he decided to sign with the Warriors after waking up on the morning of July 4. Barnes, however, got the impression Durant was leaning toward the team beforehand. During USA Basketball training camp last week, Durant said he had not talked to Barnes about his free agency decision and how it affected the latter. “You started to kind of hear rumblings,” Barnes said. “Guys were starting to feel like he was probably going to come that way. It wasn’t a surprise he was coming based on talking to the guys. It wasn’t like, ‘Boom, boom’ [after Durant’s decision]. That’s where the story gets a little more confusing. It’s more so when that decision was made I texted my teammates and took some time to process it. I got on the phone with my agent and looked at Dallas a lot closer and then I made the decision.”