Kevin Durant has many things on his mind as he heads to Tokyo. One of his more heartening motivations is rekindling a high school friendship.
Team USA Basketball will enter yet another Olympics tournament as overwhelming favorites. This will be the 8th time in the history of the program that this team will contain professional players from the NBA.
They’ve won gold at the Olympics 6 out of 7 times with NBA players in this competition. If things go to plan, the team is expected to come away with another gold.
The roster certainly looks built to take down every other international squad. In Kevin Durant, they have the best and most in-form basketball player in the world within their ranks.
KD will be joined by a whole host of MVP and All-NBA caliber talents. There is realistically little to no chance for any team scheduled to come up against them at Tokyo in a couple of weeks.
“Kevin Durant wanted to meet up Japanese high school teammate”: NBA insider
As reported by Joe Vardon of The Athletic yesterday, KD’s motivations for playing in Tokyo are many. One of them is to rekindle his friendship with a Japanese high school teammate:
“Durant said playing for Popovich — and for managing director Jerry Colangelo, who is in his final year with USA Basketball — was a factor. So was his having never been to Japan.”
“Apparently, he played with a Japanese exchange student named Ti-Shi during his senior year in high school at Montrose Christian School in Rockville, Md. He hopes to reconnect with him in Tokyo.”
“And Popovich and Colangelo gave him room to breathe as far as a commitment, in the case he changed his mind, which made him feel even better about playing.”
This report has later been rectified with the correct name of KD’s former teammate. Taishi Ito. Ito played D1 basketball for the Portland Pilots before returning to Japan as a professional basketball player.