Following Team USA’s victory yesterday to bring home the men’s basketball gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, NBA stars Kevin Durant and Draymond Green sounded off on the media for their lack of support.
Team USA defeated France 87-82 in a closely contested gold medal matchup on Friday. The win makes it America’s fourth straight Olympics gold in the event. The victory continues Team USA’s dominance as they’ve won 16 out of 19 appearances in the men’s basketball event.
However, the United States’ hopes for another gold medal got off to a slow start at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The team full of NBA All-Stars lost both of their exhibition games. In addition, Team USA ironically lost to France in their Olympics opening match.
Critics piled on the team and questioned their struggles on the court. But the players bounced back and won gold as expected. They buckled down and fought their way through the group stages one game at a time. Then, with a solid run in the knockout round, Team USA brought home the gold medal once more.
One of Team USA’s most vocal critics has been ex-NBA player turned ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins. The former member of the 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics had little faith in the team to win it all this year.
“I’m not confident at all,” Perkins said on ESPN’s The Jump in mid-July. “And it’s no disrespect but you look at the players they have (Durant), (Green), they play cute. In a good way, right. They get buckets. They’re not guys that are going to go down there and mix it up in the trenches.”
Durant and Green Sound Off on Perkins and Other Media Members Following 2020 Tokyo Olympics Gold
After Team USA earned their gold medal on Friday, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Golden State Warriors forward/center Draymond Green fired back at Perkins and other media members who doubted them.
Durant shared live footage of the team after their gold medal win on his Instagram Story yesterday. While speaking to fans and viewers, Durant and Green had a message for Team USA’s doubters.
“Everybody who said we were going to take the L… They had some power rankings out. They had us fourth behind Slovenia. Come on, man,” Durant said on Instagram. “Talking about they’re catching up to us, like, are you serious? This skill is unmatched, you dig? Shout out to everybody who won this gold, everybody that chipped in and helped out.”
While Durant spoke to the camera, Green chimed in as well with a direct message for Kendrick Perkins.
“Kendrick Perkins, you talk a lot of s—. A lot of s—,” Green said. “Act like you’re American.”
During the post-game press conference, Green spoke further on the matter when addressing the media’s criticism.
“You turn on American sports talk TV, and you got guys like Kendrick Perkins, you know, doubting us. Somebody needs to teach these people some loyalty. How about you cheer for your country? But then when guys don’t play, ‘Oh, you need to go represent the country.’ And then you lose, hit a little bump in the road. And everybody’s, ‘Oh, everybody’s caught America.’ You are an American, too. Act like it,” Green stated.
“Do your job. You know, I do some media stuff,” Green added. “I understand doing your job. But, when you talk about a special group, you better be sure you’re right. And a lot of people got it wrong. And trust me, I’ll be posting those guys. I’ll be posting everybody I found who said something. No one holds people accountable anymore, but I will.”