Kevin Durant is now the US men’s basketball team’s all team leading scorer, using tricks he picked from the person he passed, Carmelo Anthony.
Olympics basketball is a vastly different game than the NBA, but it was something that Carmelo Anthony managed to perfect and fine tune over his years of competing internationally.
Now, the mantle has finally passed to Kevin Durant. During USA’s game against the Czech Republic, Durant went ahead of Melo on this shot:
— NBA (@NBA) July 31, 2021
Durant now has 339 points for Team USA compared to Melo’s 336. Durant is the only active player on the all-time scoring list for Olympic games.
Kevin Durant Speaks Up About What It Meant To Pass Carmelo Anthony On All-Time Olympic Scoring List
Passing Melo up on the Olympic stage wasn’t something Durant took lightly. He knows that Anthony has been one of the most prolific players for Team USA, and so when he took the number one spot above him, KD only had respect for the international star.
Durant would say:
“You just think about all the players that have played in this program. It’s pretty cool to be amongst names like that. Carmelo is a guy that I played on two Olympic teams with, and I’ve seen his approach to these games and I’ve tried to steal some of his techniques.”
Kevin Durant had 23 points to pass Carmelo Anthony as the US men’s all-time Olympic scorer: “It’s pretty cool to be amongst names like that. Carmelo’s a guy I played on two Olympic teams with. Ive seen his approach to these games & Ive tried to steal some of his techniques” #nets
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) July 31, 2021
Durant and Melo have paired up in the Olympics a couple of times, playing together in 2012 in London and then in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
While other superstars like LeBron James and Steph Curry have opted out of the international stage, Durant’s willingness to play shows his love for the game. It’s something Melo embodied, and it looks like KD is learning a thing or two from him.
Durant is the only active NBA player in the top 10 scoring list with LeBron James being the only other remotely close one at number three with 273 points.