Was there any other choice?
After leading Team USA to the FIBA World Championships gold medal this summer — the first time in 16 years the USA earned that — naming Kevin Durant USA Basketball male athlete of the year seems a no brainer. He was the FIBA Tournament MVP, making the selection even more obvious. But USA Basketball made it official today.
Durant seems to be one of the few Team USA guys who has not seen a boost in his play at the start of this NBA season. He is shooting 43 percent this season (down from 47.6 percent last season) and is hitting just 29 percent from three. At 27.3 points per game he still leads the league in scoring but he is not as efficient.
However, don’t forget how great he was for Team USA this summer. He had 33 points in the quarterfinals against Russia, 38 in the semifinals against Lithuania, and 28 in the gold-medal game against Turkey. He was the guy Team USA went to for the big shot. He stepped comfortably on to the big stage, and he (along with his Thunder teammates) will get a chance in the playoffs to see if he can take the next logical step forward.