Kevin Durant got an odd welcome from Team USA at their arrival in Tokyo, and Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green is taking credit for leading the prank against his former teammate.
Durant is seen as one of the key players looking to lead the Americans back to gold after a rough start to their Olympic journey, but his teammates were keeping things loose as the team arrived in Tokyo. The group was seen serenading Durant with a very odd song choice, and getting some viral attention for it.
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Green Trolls Durant
As members of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team were waiting in the hallway of Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium for Friday’s Opening Ceremony to begin, they decided to ring in Durant’s birthday a few months early. Video shared by teammate JaVale McGee showed members of the team singing “Happy Birthday” to a visibly annoyed Durant, who doesn’t actually turn 33 until September.
When a fan on social media asked if Green had anything to do with the song, the Warriors star took credit for leading the prank.
Though Team USA may be under a lot of pressure to win gold every four years, members of the team have found ways to stay loose while representing their country, and Green has been a big part of it. Back in 2016, he led teammates in singing along with the Vanessa Carlton song “A Thousand Miles” on the team plane. While Durant was the target of this year’s prank, back then it was Carmelo Anthony who appeared the most annoyed by the antics, getting some screentime at the end of Green’s video and burying his head in his shirt.
Durant can give as good as he gets at the Olympics. He chided teammate Bam Adebayo for breaking an unwritten rule of basketball at the team’s practice. The Nets star claimed that Adebayo snagged the ball after Durant nailed a three-pointer in warm-ups and decided to dribble rather than return it to Durant, though Adebayo said he grabbed a different ball and blamed Damian Lillard for not giving Durant his change.
Durant Focused on Gold
Though his teammates were in a light-hearted mood as the Olympics opened, Durant seems focused on leading the star-studded team to gold, starting with the first challenge. The team faces France in the opening game on Sunday, taking on a squad that features five NBA players including Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, Evan Fournier of the Boston Celtics, and Nicolas Batum of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ahead of the game, Durant said it will be difficult to take on such a talented and cohesive team.
“France is a well-oiled machine,” Durant said, via NBA.com. “They’ve been playing together since they were kids, so they know each other and lot of NBA players on that team. We’re focusing on us and seeing what our identity is through training camp in Vegas and our first practice here in Japan. It’s all about us but we understand how talented these teams are and how good their chemistry is so we’re looking forward to the challenge.”