Durant: Time with Team USA 'therapy for me'

Krzyzewski compared the National Team experience to what he built at Duke, where he's won five NCAA titles. "I've been really a lucky guy, collegiately and internationally to be part of championship teams". In May of 2013 USA Basketball announced that the Rio games would be the last for Krzyzewski, who will be replaced by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

"I'm not going to be making excuses for anyone about our (dominance)", Colangelo said. I call it character. If the group led by James and Bryant made playing for Team USA a badge of honor and point of pride, why don't guys like Curry, Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard treat it that way?

The tone was set then.

Five mostly d-e-e-p 3s from Durant in the first half, with a couple of memorable dunks thrown in, put KD on a path to match his 30 points from the gold-medal game in London 2012, essentially clinched a record third gold medal for teammate Carmelo Anthony before the second half and ensured that Mike Krzyzewski would bid farewell to the global game with a 76-game winning streak to take back to Duke.

For Krzyzewski, this wasn't about one Olympics or two months or eight games.

Most of the period consisted of celebratory play from the soon-to-be gold medalists, and a host of substitutions to pay respect to each player's contributions. By comparison, the Olympic teams that won gold in 2008 and 2012 only cut it that close twice in 16 games - both in London (a 99-94 win against Lithuania and a 107-100 win over Spain for the gold medal). He shared the interview stage with Durant and Carmelo Anthony, who became the first men's player to win three golds. I get joy when I'm out there playing and it went to another level just playing alongside these great players and playing under Coach K and his staff.

"I'd love to see that".

Erratic performances from Durant, Anthony and Cousins aside, the United States did what was necessary to win.

"Serbia came within a whisker of beating us in our pool play, so we absolutely respect them", Krzyzewski said.

It was Durant's monster second quarter that ended any notion of an upset for Serbia and put the US on the gold-medal stand for the third consecutive Olympics with a 96-66 victory over the Serbians, who surprised in these Olympics by taking the silver. Nine days ago, the Serbians did that kind of thing to the US players.

As it shook out, Kevin Durant identified two separate units on the roster, even if they weren't so segregated in practice.

Because this one was different than the other two. The average margin of victory in Rio, for instance, was almost 10 points less than the 2012 incarnation, and they were pushed to the absolute brink in three consecutive games during group play by Australia, Serbia, and France. Now, he's stepping down as the Olympic coach.

  • Angelo Rivera