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25 August
10 September, 2023
7 Kevin Durant (USA), 10 Jayson Tatum (USA)
15/04/2022
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KD implores Tatum to be USA's next talisman

BOSTON (USA) - Kevin Durant has killed off the hopes of many upset-minded teams during his famous USA career that began more than a decade ago and now the great man is making sure someone will be his worthy successor.

Durant's chosen one appears to be his Tokyo Olympic teammate, Jayson Tatum, which makes this weekend all the more interesting.  Tatum's Boston Celtics host Durant's Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs.

This gripping succession story, therefore, helps set the stage for an epic battle. Will the apprentice defeat the master?

 

This is the story that Tatum has shared about Durant ahead of their NBA showdown.

Tatum, who is nearing a decade in the United States shirt himself when considering his title-winning involvement as a youth team star, revealed to another USA national team man, Draymond Green, what KD told him last summer during a warmup game with Team USA.

Tatum said on the Draymond Green Show that he had the ball in one particular instance and could have taken a shot but instead passed to Durant, who wasn't happy when he did.

"I REMEMBER HE GOT MAD AT ME. HE WAS LIKE, 'YO, DON'T LOOK FOR ME. BE YOURSELF. I NEED YOU TO KILL."


"I remember specifically coming down on the wing," Tatum said. "Somebody kicked me the ball and, on the Celtics, I would have shot it ... I just remember K was to the right of me and I passed it to him.

"And I remember he got mad at me. He was like, 'Yo, don't look for me. Be yourself. I need you to kill.' That was the first time I was like, 'He want me to hoop, too.' ... He need me to do me on the same team."

It's not the first time that great leadership lessons are taught between superstars wearing the same National Team jersey but this one does hold particular significance considering Durant is a player that some view as the greatest USA player of all time.

It may not be time for him to pass the baton as the main man of the USA, especially considering how well Durant played at the Olympics as he led the Americans to the gold medal, and with the FIBA Basketball World Cup next year, and the Paris Olympics in 2024.

If he were to stop now, the career Durant's had with the USA, including the 2010 world title, and Olympic gold medals in 2012, 2016 and 2021, would be viewed as legendary.


As for Tatum, he has an impressive CV himself and he's only 24.

He was a leading player in USA teams that won the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Men, the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship for Men and the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.

FIBA