The type of reaction, though likely amplified by the amount of Los Angeles Clipper buffs among the sold-out Staples Center crowd, is something Durant will have to get used to as he takes on the role of NBA villain with his new super-team.
Though fans at Sunday’s contest jeered at the sound of Durant’s name, they couldn’t help but encourage his game as he led the Americans to a lopsided 106-57 victory.
For the second straight game, Durant was the brightest star for Team USA. He followed up his 23-point performance with a game-high 19 points Sunday, 12 of which came from beyond the arc.
Two of Durant’s five assists turned into Klay Thompson three-pointers, setting a grin on the faces of Warriors enthusiasts. Both Golden State teammates helped Team USA break out of an early shooting funk and combined for 36 points Sunday.
“Our guys want them to get shots. It’s neat when they do shoot, that the whole bench wants that to happen. Hopefully they keep hitting them.”
Krzyzewski won’t be alone in his wishes for more Durant and Thomspon highlights at Team USA’s next game, that will take place Tuesday at Golden State’s Oracle Arena.
“I’m excited going to Oakland as a member of the Warriors,” Durant said after Sunday’s game. “We will see. I’m only going be my regular self and go out there and do my regular routine and we’ll see what happens.”
Before this week, Durant told The Vertical’s Michael Lee he flat-out doesn’t care about not or whether he’s liked.
“I want to be enjoyed by folks that I believe love me. People I don’t understand, I don’t care about,” Durant told The Vertical. “I need you to respect my game and what I bring to the floor, and I don’t care if you don’t enjoy what I do as a man. I want you to respect my game and if you don’t, that’s your issue.”
To date, it’s mission accomplished for the newest Warriors star.