Kevin Durant Becomes USA Basketball's All-Time Leading Olympic Scorer
Durant passes Carmelo Anthony as Team USA routs Czech Republic
Kevin Durant became the leading scorer in U.S. Men’s Olympic basketball history as Team USA defeated the Czech Republic 119-84 in its final group play game of the Tokyo Olympics.
Durant finished with 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, and added eight rebounds and six assists. With a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter, he passed Carmelo Anthony (336 points) for the top spot on the list and now has 354 points.
This is the third Olympics for Durant, who was USA Basketball’s leading scorer for the gold medal winning teams in both London and Rio. If the U.S. wins gold in Tokyo as well, Durant will match Anthony’s record of three Olympic men’s basketball gold medals.
“I just think about all the players that played in this program and (it’s) pretty cool to be amongst names like that,” said Durant. “Carmelo is a guy that I played on two Olympic teams with, and I've seen his approach to these games, and I try to steal some of his techniques and approach. I don’t know, it is still pretty weird for me to do stuff like this, because I play a team sport and I try my hardest to make it about the group. But it is special to do something like that. And scoring is something that I worked on my whole career and something that I've expanded my whole career and to consistently do it is pretty cool.”
The win over the Czech Republic was the second straight rout for the American men after they dropped their Olympic opener to France. They advance to the knockout round that begins with the quarterfinals on Aug. 3, although the first of those four games will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, Aug. 2.
Durant, twice the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year, is one of only two players on the roster with Olympic experience, along with Draymond Green.
“It’s basketball at the end of the day, and these guys are all world talents, all-stars, guys who've been the best players on their teams,” said Durant. “So, I don’t say much to them. It's just a simple game at the end of the day. But a lot of guys do actually ask me about the experience. For example, a lot of guys asked me about the Opening Ceremony. They ask me about the teams we played back then. But it's not like giving them strategy or telling them technique. It’s basketball at the end of the day, and these guys know it. They’re high IQ players. Just giving them my past experiences, telling a couple stories here and there, I guess that's really what it would have been like. But I try to just lead by example by just going out there and being a great teammate in practice, working as hard as I can and just leaving it at that.”
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