While most NBA superstars are home and recuperating after a very taxing season, Brooklyn Nets standout Kevin Durant chose to lead his country to glory at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Hidden among a roster full of some of the best and brightest names in the game is Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo.
While Gregg Popovich will lean on Durant’s ability to take games over, Adebayo is trying to show that he’s more than just a role player on this team, and that clash of egos has made for some unexpectedly juicy content.
Durant was working on his ability to knock down corner 3-point shots in what seemed like a fairly standard shootaround. However, Adebayo broke an unwritten rule of shootaround, and that irritated Durant to no end.
In Durant’s eyes, Adebayo broke basketball code by not giving Durant another shot after pocketing a corner 3-pointer. A brief back-and-forth ensued, with KD irked that Adebayo decided to work on his ball-handling after Durant, in his own words, “green bean’d” from beyond the arc.
The standout young big man claimed that Durant was simply playing seniority. Citing Damian Lillard as his witness, Adebayo asserted that Durant was trying to “little bro” him for no adequate reason. This is a very serious accusation from one basketball player to another.
Durant, never one to just let any sort of criticism of him online simply go by the wayside, responded by posting a screenshot of his Apple Music account, which just so happened to be playing “Can’t Take a Joke” by Drake. If nothing else, Durant is fearless, willing to say what he feels to whomever he pleases.
Nets superstar Kevin Durant is getting some digs in at Bam Adebayo.
Both Durant and Adebayo will play vital roles on an American team that is still the overwhelming favorite to take home the gold medal despite some horrible performances in friendly games against Australia and Nigeria. Adebayo and Durant need to put their mini-beef aside if they want to help Team USA rack up some wins.
They’ll make up the starting frontcourt for most of these games, meaning that if any two guys need to get along, it’s them. In the infinitesimal chance there’s actually some friction between them, they need to squash it in order to withstand the rigors of group stage qualifying.
Their most important game of the group stage might actually come on the 25th, as the Americans will take on Rudy Gobert and a France team. Team USA will face Iran and the Czech Republic as well before the Round of 16 comes around.
After some uneven performances early in their tune-ups before the games count for real, it was painfully clear that Durant, Adebayo, and the rest of Team USA were suffering from fatigue, a lack of cohesion, and adjustments to the changes playing internationally brings with it.
However, thanks to some new additions like Keldon Johnson helping the squad play with a bit more aggression on the offensive end, the team looked much better in wins against Spain and Argentina. Hopefully, that momentum carries over to the next few games and the Americans end up on the podium once again.
While Durant is undoubtedly going to use his time with Team USA to try and convince players to sign up with him in Brooklyn, he’s there to help his country win the ultimate prize in international basketball. Getting on the same page with the rest of his teammates is critical to success.
There’s no true animosity between KD and Bam, it’s just some friendly banter. At least we hope.