Team USA’s journey through the Tokyo Olympics began with a loss to France in an exhibition and ended with the Americans knocking off the French in the gold medal game on Friday night.
A big win called for a big celebration. So as Durant and his Team USA teammates were on the shuttle on their way to receive their gold medals, they broke out some Lobos Tequila, a brand that LeBron James has invested in. So Durant — and Draymond Green — took the opportunity to thank the Los Angeles Lakers star for the tequila.
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LeBron Loves What He Sees
LeBron, a two-time gold medalist himself, quickly got wind of Durant and Team USA’s celebration and rushed to social media to offer his support.
“AYYYYYYEEEE!!!!! THAT’S RIGHT IN THE CUP. LIQUID GOLD,” LeBron commented as he took to Instagram to share the video of Durant’s shutout, via lakersdaily.com. “CHEERS CHAMPS. LOVE TO SEE IT.”
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Durant Shines Brightest on World’s Biggest Stage
With 8.8 seconds remaining, Durant stepped to the free-throw line and knocked down both of his attempts to seal Team USA’s 87-82 win against France.
Durant’s 29-point effort in Friday’s gold medal games came on the heels of 30-point games in each of his previous two gold medal games, in 2012 and 2016.
Durant, meanwhile, said his mindset was to simply leave it all on the court with a gold medal on the line.
“It’s winning time,” Durant said, per NBA.com. “It’s one game where you go home, it’s no series. I’ve gotta give my all every second I’m out there and I prepare the right way. I’ve just gotta go out there and trust that work. I was able to knock down some shots to keep us afloat a little bit. In the fourth quarter (Damian Lillard) took over for us and guys made plays at the end.”
The theme for this iteration of Team USA: overcoming adversity. And with its win over France in the championship game, its tournament in Tokyo came full circle.
“We went through some real adversity,” Durant said, per NBA.com. “We lost a game in the tournament, we lost two exhibition games. We had some unusual circumstances with COVID, guys playing in the Finals, coming in late, and we just fought through everything. Two-and-a-half weeks away from our families basically in a bubble. It was definitely different, so I’m glad we finished the job.”
France, with NBA players like Rudy Gobert, Evan Fourneir and Nicolas Batum, proved to be a true test.
“It meant a lot especially playing against this team,” Durant said, via NBA.com. “France is a good team. They don’t quit. They play hard every minute they’re on the floor. A big team. So it presented a nice challenge for us, but we wanted them again. We wanted to play them again just like we wanted Australia again. We were able to finish this game off. Everybody, they sacrificed from day one, put the team first, and we were able to come out here and get the gold.”