When Kevin Durant left Team USA last week citing mental and physical exhaustion, it surprised Mike Krzyzewski, the coach acknowledged on Thursday.
"Yeah, I was," Krzyzewski said to ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell when asked if he was surprised by Durant's departure. "No question. I was."
The 25-year-old Thunder forward is the reigning NBA MVP and four-time scoring champ. He won gold medals with Team USA in the 2012 Olympics in London and 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey. In London, Durant averaged a team-high 19.5 points per game.
"It's one of those things; you don't replace Kevin Durant," Krzyzewski said after Team USA's scrimmage on Thursday. "You look different. And so we have today and [Friday] to look different before we play a really good team. That's of concern for me because we were pretty far along. We had our best camp ever in Vegas since I've coached [Team USA]. Those guys were terrific. We had more in [game plan-wise], but we had more in to play a certain way. And then Kevin deciding not to play ... it's concerning.
"But hopefully we'll be good enough on Saturday [in an exhibition against Brazil], and then we use New York and Gran Canaria to get better and get better during pool play."
- Chris Mascaro