LAS VEGAS - JULY 24: Kevin Durant #5 of the 2010 USA Basketball Men's National Team holds up a Tiffany & Co. player-of-the-game cup after a USA Basketball showcase at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 24 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
USA White’s 114-96 Victory Over USA Blue | USA Basketball
The White’s Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) led all scorers with 28 points, and was named the player of the game. But five more players scored in double figures for the White squad, including Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers) with 17, Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers) had 16, Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) scored 15 and Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks) was credited with 13 points (6-of-6 FGs) while raking in a game best nine rebounds.
Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies) led the Blue with 23 points, while O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies) scored 18, Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) added 14 and Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder) tossed in 11 points and grabbed a team best eight rebounds.
Ranking the Western Conference | Hoopsworld
#3 - Oklahoma City Thunder – Home-court advantage in the playoffs. The Thunder brass won't say it out loud, but that's the underlying motivation going into next season. Sure, jumping from 23 wins in 2008-09 to 50 wins last year was nothing short of amazing. They may win a few more than that this year, but remember, 53 wins was good enough for a fourth seed last year – 55 for the second seed. The young team was defeated by the Lakers in an exciting and extremely competitive first round, but the value of the experience gained was immeasurable. And they left Los Angeles' court with three glaring truths: 1) They lacked a tough, rebounding man in the middle; 2) A reliable three-point shooter would help immensely; and 3) Oklahoma City fans are an insanely loud sixth man. So general manager Sam Presti (whose contract was just extended to a multi-year term) set about addressing these needs by first working his magic to land 11th overall pick in the draft, 6'11" Cole Aldrich. Then he acquired 2009 All-Star Weekend Three-Point Shootout winner, Daequan Cook, and veteran wingman Mo Peterson. Second-year players James Harden, Eric Maynor and Serge Ibaka should vastly improve with one year under their belts; Byron Mullens may even log considerably more playing time. Hard to believe we went this long into the paragraph without even mentioning last years' leading scorer, All-Star, second-ranked MVP and probable Team USA superstar, Kevin Durant. Can he get even better this year? Oh, yes.
Q&A with Kevin Durant | Fay Observer
Q: On what the Team USA experience can do for his profile globally...
A: To be honest with you, I really don't care. I really don't. It would be cool for most people to know who the Oklahoma City Thunder are. That's what I'm about. I really don't care about my global brand or anything like that. I just want to come out here and be the best player. This has never been about raising my profile. I mean you look around here (at this camp) and I've never been an NBA champion like Lamar Odom. I've never been a Finals MVP like Chauncey Billups. I haven't played as many playoff games as a lot of the guys here. There are a lot of stars here. A lot of guys have a leg up on me. I'm here to learn from those guys to keep getting better.
Good Things Come To Kevin Durant | USA Basketball
Q: What does having this opportunity mean to you?
A: It means a lot. Words can’t explain how excited I am to be here and just represent my country. It’s not just the guys that are out here practicing, it’s everybody out there in the country that’s watching us, rooting for us and waiting to bring that gold back. It’s a tough task ahead of us, but we’re all looking forward to it.
Q: Was it an easy opportunity to say ‘yes’ to?
A: The USA across my chest is an automatic yes. And to have the chance to play with some of the greatest players in the NBA is going to make me better, so it was an opportunity I definitely couldn’t pass up.
Kevin Durant Dazzles, Tough Cuts Loom for Team USA Basketball | NBA FanHouse
"Andre just had a great week,'' Krzyzewski said of his play on the team preparing for next month's World Championship in Turkey. "I told him right after (Saturday's) game out on the court I thought he was beautifully efficient. I'm not sure anybody's called him beautiful. I know nobody has ever called me beautiful. So I was looking actually for a return on him, saying, 'Coach, you look beautiful.' ... Andre, he can defend. You need guys out there who don't have to touch the ball. ... (Iguodala is) one of the key guys for our basketball team.''
A look at the USA Basketball Showcase | Thunder
KEVIN DURANT Statistics: 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting, five rebounds, two assists
Highlights: Durant wowed the crowd with an array of dunks, long-range shots (2-for-3 three-pointers) and playmaking. He even initiated the offense on several possessions. The committee said Durant was a lock to make the team long before camp began, but he still gave max effort in the scrimmage. Team USA utilized him in some of the same ways the Thunder does, particularly in running him off high screens for midrange jump shots. His two assists were real gems and both were to Tyson Chandler. The first saw Durant thread a bounce pass to Chandler in the post and the other was a quick alley-oop lob. [Ever wonder if we should have kept Chandler?]
RUSSELL WESTBROOK Statistics: 14 points on 4-for-10 shooting, four rebounds, three assists, three steals
Highlights: Westbrook did his thing. He sped things up, he slowed things down. He penetrated and kicked and he got to the free-throw line (6-for-8). Krzyzewski liked how Westbrook has experience playing off the ball and we saw that often on Saturday; he never hesitated in taking his man off the dribble and pulling up for a jump shot. On defense, there was several possessions where Westbrook picked up his man close to full-court, which is something he said the coaching staff emphasized throughout the week in an effort to take time off the shot clock.
JEFF GREEN Statistics: 11 points on 5-for-13 shooting, eight rebounds, one assist, one blocked shot
Highlights: Green used his versatility to stretch the floor offensively and guard multiple positions defensively. Whenever Durant was in the game, Green drew him as a defensive assignment. Green also spent time guarding Chandler down low. While Green’s jumper wasn’t on, he was relentless in attacking the rim and had several put backs. Green was quick to react on several plays, including one in which he whipped an outlet pass the length of the floor to a streaking Kevin Love and another when he scored off a turnover in the backcourt.