Team USA in good hands with Durant, Rose
July, 22, 2010
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com
LAS VEGAS -- Kevin Durant sat in a folding chair in the middle of one of the practice courts at the Cox Pavilion after Team USA's third day of practice and just started laughing.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty ImagesKevin Durant drives to the hoop during a USA Basketball team practice in Las Vegas.
The question I had just posed to the Oklahoma City forward made him realize yet again how lucky he is to be in a position to play with such a great player and good friend in the Bulls' Derrick Rose.
It's nice to have Rose on your team as compared to trying to play against him.
"Yeah." Durant said chuckling. "Him and Russell [Westbrook], if they make the team, are going to be phenomenal together. That's going to be a joy to watch and I just want to be on the same floor as those guys because it would be an honor to play with them."
Durant and Rose have developed a bond throughout the last few years and have worked out together at times in preparation for this training camp. The pair is excited that they finally have a chance to be on the same team.
"Me and Derrick are real cool," Durant told me. "I think our relationship on the floor is just going to grow even more with these last couple of days here. He's just like me, quiet, reserved, chill, laid back. I'm usually attracted to guys like that as far as being cool with them, so D. Rose is a very cool guy. I'm very happy for his success in this league and I'm sure people in Chicago are happy as well."
Rose is happy that the pair have formed a close bond already.
"We're real cool friends," he said on Wednesday. "He's a workoholic. A modest guy, humble, so why not be friends with him?"
Durant echoed the same sentiments, but neither man is willing to say that they are in the process of becoming the new face of USA Basketball, despite the obvious comparisons to national stars in the past.
"We just want to play team basketball," Durant said. "I'm sure Derrick feels the same way. Myself, I just want to play team basketball. I don't want to be considered higher than anyone else."
With the way both young stars have handled the process in front of them this week, it's easy to see why so many people around the league believe that the NBA is in good shape for years to come with these two guys at the forefront.