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Can Durant fill Team USA's leadership void?

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08:10 AM ET 07.21 | For the NBA's youngest scoring champion, Kevin Durant has displayed some kind of maturity. With Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and the rest of the Beijing Olympic team taking the summer off, USA Basketball's roster is wide open for next month's world championships in Turkey. There is one prospect, however, with better odds than anyone to be wearing the red, white and blue. "Hopefully, everything works out," [Durant] said, "and I make the team." Three years into his NBA career, Durant still doesn't lack for humility. Since his arrival as the No. 2 pick of the 2008 draft, he has insisted on being treated as just one of the guys. He has never yearned to play in a bigger market, instead signing a five-year, $87 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer. ... Still, with the U.S. roster missing all of its superstar gold medalists -- and All-Star forward Amar'e Stoudemire now out because of an insurance issue with his contract -- the team is desperate for a leader in the world championships.

Yahoo! Sports

Kevin Durant, Getty Images Kevin Durant, Getty Images
July 21, 2010  08:45 AM ET

Stay tuned on what he does everybody... lol

July 21, 2010  08:52 AM ET

I think he will do well...... a leader? not so much, but with his length he could easily score in bunches against the international teams.

July 21, 2010  08:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I think he will do well...... a leader? not so much, but with his length he could easily score in bunches against the international teams.

Why isnt he a leader again?

Comment #5 has been removed
July 21, 2010  09:15 AM ET

This USA team will not win this summer, you will see, they dont have an experienced PG

Comment #7 has been removed
July 21, 2010  09:22 AM ET

Durant is going to win the MVP award this year. He is going to stop Lebron's streak. In three years he will be hands down the best player in the NBA.

July 21, 2010  09:25 AM ET

USA! USA! USA!

Comment #10 has been removed
July 21, 2010  09:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

This USA team will not win this summer, you will see, they dont have an experienced PG

I believe Chauncey Billups is tryin out for the team. I would he guess he would make the team over Rajon Rondo because of his shooting ability.

July 21, 2010  09:53 AM ET

Come to LA, Bro.

July 21, 2010  10:04 AM ET

He can absolutely fill the void...and I will take it a step further, he could be one of the best if not the best Team USA players to ever do it. Look at his skills, the shooting touch and athleticism along with the BBall IQ translates very well to the international game and he is a freak at his length to be able to do all those things. I think he can easily be the star of these games and I expect this to be a 'coming out' party of sorts for him, because for some reason, he still flies under the radar so some degree...just look at the deal (extension) he just signed! That was a relative bargain for a kid with this much upside, and he did so quickly and happily with zero drama. The kid stays out of trouble and is a gym rat and leads many of his team mates in that regard so I think there is a bright future for him as long as he is healthy. He might just be the 'next'!

July 21, 2010  10:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

he'll do more than lead... he's the next budding superstar that's ready to take over the league.

yeah, what he said!

July 21, 2010  10:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

I believe Chauncey Billups is tryin out for the team. I would he guess he would make the team over Rajon Rondo because of his shooting ability.

Billups is a shoot first type of guy, they need someone like Kidd to lead this team

July 21, 2010  10:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Durant is going to win the MVP award this year. He is going to stop Lebron's streak. In three years he will be hands down the best player in the NBA.

And, he said! I know that nobody can predict the future, but everything I see in this young man makes me angry that there weren't teams beating down his door at the end of the season to see if there was a possibility that he might want to leave OKC.

Comment #17 has been removed
July 21, 2010  10:25 AM ET

I really like this kid. His game speaks volumes, and so far, his attitude and respect for the game is beyond measure. He'll have a very good career, and is already off to a blazing start.

July 21, 2010  10:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

And, he said! I know that nobody can predict the future, but everything I see in this young man makes me angry that there weren't teams beating down his door at the end of the season to see if there was a possibility that he might want to leave OKC.

You like to see a great player and good ownership keep a good thing going. Lebron with Gilbert was an odd couple situation so the break up was inevitable. But what made things worse for Lebron is the way he went out and what he chose to work with. He's now the most hated man in the sports world and I doubt the people that vote for the MVP will even consider him no matter his performance.

Kobe was robbed off a few MVP trophies because of how he alienated the public by snitching on Shaq but what Lebron did is even worse so I know for a fact his MVP reign is over. Kobe had to put in many years of hard work to fix his image but given how Lebron likes to take the easy way out I don't think he has the heart for that.

All hail the real NBA king - Kevin Durant!

July 21, 2010  10:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

I mean did you watch the playoff games vs LA ?- he's not there....YETwhen the olympics come around in another couple years...THEN he may be ready.I do think that playing with other top players would REALLY helphis maturity as he would learn how to pass a little more

I agree that he is still developing. But he is sooo good now, just thinking about him two years from now makes me excited for him. Again, there is no way to see what the future brings, but man oh man...he is one of the few guys I actually think can help restore the image of the league. I just hope his youth and inexperience doesn't make a liar out of me, but my money is on him to do just that. I hear all he does is play basketball and that's exactly what he should be doing. How many guys can we say that about these days, with rap companies, going out all the time, trying to be in everything from movies to music videos all this stuff! I like Durant.

 
July 21, 2010  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Durant is going to win the MVP award this year. He is going to stop Lebron's streak. In three years he will be hands down the best player in the NBA.

Totally agree!!! 110%

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