- (Photo: Reuters/Jeff Haynes)
Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder suffered a disappointing loss to Lebron James and the Miami Heat during the most recent NBA Finals, and now the league's leading scorer is admitting that it isn't easy to play alongside the NBA champion on Team USA during the Olympic Games in London.
Durant, 23, spoke about the difficulty that he faced having to practice with James every day.
"It's tough to lose in the Finals and play the guy you've been going up against for five games who beat you," Durant said in an ESPN report. "This is bigger than that. So me, I'm just going to get over it, still be a great teammate, come out and play hard."
Still, Durant admitted that it bothers him to see James so soon after his loss.
"It does. It does, but what can I do?" Durant said Tuesday. "He's my teammate now. I'm a team player."
However, James seemed to understand his Team USA teammates perspective on the matter.
"I bet it bothers him and Russell (Westbrook), you know, they probably don't want to hear about it," James said. "It would bother me, it would bother anyone that you lose to someone in the Finals, where everyone's competing at the highest level and you want to win and then you have to team up with them not too long, not too far removed from the games."
James spoke about publicity playing a part in his on-court battle with Durant and the young forward's lingering feelings about his loss.
"It is tough man, because we just come off a great Finals. Our match up was one of the most profiled match ups in league history, so it's tough," James said. "But at the same time, we understand what we're here for. We're going to use our talents, we're going to use what we know we can do to try to help this team win gold."
Despite Durant's issues playing alongside James, he told ESPN that he was blessed to be playing in the the 2012 Olympics.
"I've been working so hard ever since I was a kid so that I would have all this stuff come," he said. "And it's come so quickly. It's just crazy. I'm just blessed to be here. I just have to keep working and keep improving."