Cover Image for A skinny 18-year-old dominated LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Carmelo Anthony during the 2007 Team USA Tryouts 

A skinny 18-year-old dominated LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Carmelo Anthony during the 2007 Team USA Tryouts 

Jeet Pukhrambam
|Tue Aug 16 2022

In a gym full of Team USA superstars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony, you will seldom expect an 18-year-old to dominate. 

Unless that 18-year-old’s name is Kevin Durant, and when the Team USA roster spots open up, you know players from all over the NBA will be coming to it, and even young teens like Kevin Durant!

Throwing it all the way back to 2007, nearly a full year before Durant made his debut, to the Team USA tryouts, right before the Beijing Olympics.

This was an important moment in history as the United States failed to win gold at the preceding Olympic games in Athens. The legacy of Team USA was on the line and the Olympic committee knew they could not falter.

So, they called out 33 of the best American players in the nation. A majority of the players would come from the NBA and would include stars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony.

But this was a chance to test out young players and this time, a very tall and slender 18-year-old was in contention.

Also read: 7’0″ Shaquille O’Neal is a Hall of Famer but his kids prefer Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

Kevin Durant torches a USA scrimmage team consisting of LeBron James and Jason Kidd!

LeBron James alluded to the assembly of stars and even said that it was better than an all-star game. So what place does an 18-year-old have in this?

Well, this 18-year-old was different. He had handles, a smooth jump shot, and most of all a tall frame. Durant stood at 6’10 at the time and it was a scary sight.

He torched a scrimmage team consisting of LeBron and Jason Kidd for 22 points. Who else was on his team? Kobe and Carmelo. Despite the help, KD was already a certified bucket.

Everyone knew the ceiling he had and he was already NBA bound before this but this game just signaled his arrival in the league.

The rest is history, four-time scoring champ, 2-time Finals MVP, and 12 all-star appearances are just some of the badges on his resume.

The greatest thing about him is that he has and always will be torching others, even when he was 18 and even when he is way past his prime. Stay tuned to this space for more stories on Kevin Durant from our vault.

Also read: LeBron James made 33x times more per second than Michael Jordan in their ‘last’ season in the NBA

About the author
Jeet Pukhrambam

Jeet Pukhrambam

Jeet Pukhrambam is TheSportsRush's editor and creative writer. After freelancing for five years as an independent writer, Jeet has created thousands of blog posts and articles. He now covers intriguing news reports and throwback stories on all things NBA. In his free time, he enjoys techno, football, cooking, and traveling. Jeet takes pride in his critical thinking, music playlists, and his love for spaghetti.

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