Kevin Durant is part of a stacked USA roster this year, but according to one former USA coach, he isn’t the leader despite being perhaps the best player on the team.
Kevin Durant has the championships, the stats, and unique skillset and talent that puts him head and shoulders above the rest of Team USA.
In the NBA playoffs, Durant was by and far the best player on the court, night in and night out. There was no stopping him, and as a result, you’d think that he would be the leader on a team filled with several international debutants including Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, and Zach Lavine.
However, according to this Team USA assistant coach, the leadership role belongs to someone else on the team, someone whose name may not jump off the page to you immediately.
— Guru (@DrGuru_) July 23, 2021
If Kevin Durant Isn’t The Leader Of Team USA, Then Who Is?
Draymond Green. That’s who. According to Team USA assistant coach and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Draymond is the leader of this Olympic squad.
Kerr had the pleasure to coach both Draymond and KD during their time together with the Warriors, resulting in two NBA titles. And stemming from what he saw in those years, Kerr firmly believes that Green is the leader of Team USA despite Durant’s superiority in playing talent.
When asked about seeing Draymond and KD play together again, Kerr answered:
“It’s been great for us to be together again and to watch Kevin and practice, and Draymond has been tremendous. We feel like we’re gonna go into Tokyo with, with a lot of momentum.”
He also didn’t have any hesitations when asked about who the leader of the team was, following up on Draymond’s praise:
“He is our leader. He’s the guy who’s talking to everybody in the huddle during the timeouts; he’s the one bringing everybody in. Draymond could not be in a better place mentally. He’s so happy to be here; he’s having so much fun.”
What about Durant then? Well, Kerr knows Durant’s elite status as a basketball player, and so he wasn’t taking shots at KD by not anointing him as the leader. Draymond just fits the bill better. He’s far more vocal and energizing, and those are qualities you look for as a leader.
That’s not to say that Durant isn’t a leader, because of course he is, but in a team with Draymond, it’s often hard to take that position away. Durant is definitely going to be the biggest piece of Team USA, and the entire team will be looking to him to win them games when they need it.
However, when it comes to being the locker-room presence that ignites the team, Steve Kerr believes that Draymond Green shoulders that responsibility.